William Rugen spent 20 years working as a fisheries oceanographer before turning to photography in 2008. That year he went on the road with one month of free time, three cameras, and absolutely no concrete plans. This trip saw the first inklings of the “Western Dioramas” project, his first fine art project. William is continuing to work on this, and similar open-ended projects, each driven by subject matter and unified by the use of color and strong graphic elements. William lives in Seattle and works for Motofish Images.
About ‘Western Dioramas’:
The project is a continuing snapshot of the American West and the space it takes up in my consciousness. The seemingly limitless physical space makes us view it as transformable, disposable and unforgettable. This leads to many interesting overlaps, both spatial and temporal. There is often a wary line where the open meets the inhabited and a visible intersection of the past and present.
I am also very specific as to how the elements inhabit the limited space within the frame. Every object has its own place and looks as if it has been placed there for just this picture, like a diorama in a museum. Each image a momentary still life in the continuing history of the American West.