Water World

published on January 1, 2022

METHOD & CONCEPT, the art gallery-meets-design atelier at The Collective in Naples, is known for pushing boundaries with contemporary art from emerging and mid-career American artists. Starting on Jan. 13, the team showcases the effervescent art of Hawaii-bred, Nashville-based photographer Christy Lee Rogers. “Her work is dreamlike, theatrical and ethereal, and her production is nothing short of what a conductor or director does. It’s a choreographed performance,” METHOD & CONCEPT’s founder and director Chad Jensen says. Rogers’ radiant images show bodies twisting gracefully, fabric unfurling around the subjects while they’re suspended in water. Rogers, who has always loved being around water, primarily corrals friends and family as subjects, photographing them in residential pools, where she has more control over the environment than if she were shooting in nature. During the sessions, Rogers shines spotlights down into the pool, where the water diffuses the light. The subjects’ final contorted shapes in the images are simply the result of them trying to stay afloat. “Christy Lee is so immersed in the process,” Jensen says. “It’s very deliberate yet she allows so much room for improvisation and accidental discoveries. Sometimes it’s disarray; sometimes it’s intimate and romantic.”

Water plays a key role in Rogers’ work as the tool she uses to “pose” her subjects, but her subject matter is the figures themselves as manipulated by the buoyancy and atmosphere. The photographs are unedited, so the viewer sees the ensuing interplay of light, shape and color as it vividly appears underwater. Her work is also filled with historical and religious references. The arcing, intertwining montage of glowing limbs and hemlines recall influences ranging from Greek and Roman mythology to the extravagance of Renaissance- and Baroque-era artworks. Here, Jensen shares insights on Rogers’ work, connecting her affinity for water, art history, ancient mythology and otherworldly depictions of the human form.

Truth, Beauty, Freedom and Love (2020)

In this image (shown on p. 321), Rogers’ figures twist and overlap with the flowing fabric, creating a continual sense of movement. “Water possesses a kinetic energy that Christy Lee loves to capture in her work, and the drama and fluidity of Truth, Beauty, Freedom and Love is a fine example,” Jensen says. “Sometimes there is stillness and other times controlled chaos—it’s all part of her process and a choreographed performance.” A similar piece is featured on the cover of coffee company Lavazza’s 2021 calendar, themed The New Humanity. In 2020, Apple also commissioned Rogers to create works shot on the iPhone 11 Pro to promote its creative capabilities.missing or outdated ad config

Creation (2018)

Rogers luminously references the Sistine Chapel ceiling in Creation (shown on p. 314). A deep carmine robe billows like the cloak flowing behind God in Michelangelo’s The Creation of Adam. “This is one of the pieces that drew me to Christy Lee’s work and reminds me of the power art can have,” Jensen says. “Much like the Sistine’s ceiling, one wants to stop, take it in and absorb it.” Rogers is aware of the responsibility she takes on when translating masterpieces into the present day, shown by the effort she puts into her shoots and how she astutely selects images that best imitate the original compositions. “I appreciate that Christy Lee does not shy away from big, ambitious projects, as also evidenced by her series inspired by Homer’s Odyssey. The sheer theater and production of Christy Lee’s work is a modern-day homage to those great Old Masters,” he states. “And she handles them with great care and respect.”missing or outdated ad config

Blue Romance (2018)

In Blue Romance (shown on p. 316), Rogers uses movement and proximity to convey a full range of romantic emotions as figures float away from each other or closely interact. “Christy Lee’s canvas is water,” Jensen says. “Sometimes we see more, sometimes less. Her compositions are mostly full-bleed images that extend beyond the frame. Blue Romance pulls the lens back to reveal a slightly different context.” Here, Rogers’ perspective allows a more complete view of the figures, with the distances between their bodies easily shown in expanses of the exposed floor.missing or outdated ad config

Harmony (2018)

The golden hue in Harmony (shown on p. 318)—which earned her the Open Photographer of the Year award at the 2019 Sony World Photography Awards—casts each subject in a luminescent aura as they reach for the glowing orange light source at the surface. “The color effect lends a sort of sepia tone and antiquity to the work,” Jensen says, adding that orange can also evoke positive and uplifting energy, leaving the viewer in a harmonious state. “She’s a multitalented artist who is seeking new media and ways to express our shared and universal connection to water and the past,” he says. “Her work makes me stop and pause for a bit, and in this world of hyperchaos, I think we all need to recognize when that hits us and then allow ourselves a brief moment of respite.”

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Sarah Baker

Art & Design Coordinator

Sarah Baker is inspired by artist studio practices and as the Art and Design Coordinator at METHOD & CONCEPT she is dedicated to supporting the creative process. A graduate of Florida Gulf Coast University, Fine Art program, Sarah is active in the SWFL art & design culture and is an artist in her own right.Integrating her skillset at a maker with expertise and knowledge of fibers and textiles, Sarah collaborates with METHOD & CONCEPT teams to provide an informed experience for art collectors and interior design clients.

Yose Alonso

Associate Interior Designer

Yoselin Alonso is an Interior Designer who focuses on functional design and believes in constructing exclusive spaces that evoke emotion. Incorporating the unique diversity of each client, her design details are profound, ensuring one-of-a-kind personalized spaces. A graduate of University of Florida’s College of Design, Alonso harnesses conceptual and practical skills that bring spaces to life from planning and construction through to the finest of details. Having grown up around construction and design, Alonso is eager to make her mark in the design world as a part of the METHOD & CONCEPT team.

Amy Jensen

Gallery Manager

At METHOD & CONCEPT, Amy is a champion for artists and coordinates season exhibitions and special events as well as outreach and community projects working closely with artists, collectors and community partners. Drawing from an arts education and two decades of experience working in the arts and for non-profit institutions, Amy actively advocates for arts & culture and enhanced quality of life through her work as Gallery Manager for METHOD & CONCEPT and in the local community.

Chad Jensen

Creative Director & Managing Partner

Chad Jensen is an artist, furniture maker, designer, and the Founding Director of METHOD & CONCEPT. Jensen is a true advocate for the arts, his work and the gallery’s programming both demonstrate the symbiotic relationship between contemporary craft, fine art and design.

In 2013, Jensen launched METHOD & CONCEPT as a division of Thomas Riley Companies, to represent international emerging, mid-career and established artists and designers. Jensen has exhibited numerous artists including Matthew Shlian, Peter Zimmermann, Tadao Cern, Kim Keever and Arik Levy.

In addition to his work at METHOD & CONCEPT, Jensen is an active leader in Naples’ cultural landscape, placing monumental public art at The Collective and Sugden-Gomez building at Baker Park. He is the Founding Director and serves on the Executive Board of the Naples Design District and the United Arts Council of Collier County, where he served as president for two terms. Jensen also serves on the Advisory Board of Digital Media Design at Florida Gulf Coast University, where he is a frequent guest speaker, gallery juror and student mentor.

As an artist, he has exhibited at The Baker Museum in Naples, FL; Rudolf Budja Gallery, Miami; as well as Guinevere, London. He has participated in international art fairs such as the International Contemporary Furniture Fair in New York, NY and the Shanghai Art Fair, China. In 2014, Jensen designed a limited-edition furniture collection that was presented during New York Design Week. Interior Design, Art Basel Guide and Casa da Abitare have featured his work.