JONATHAN CHERRY: What got you started with photography?
ROBERT SCHLAUG: I really like sports and I was an avid athlete in my youth. So at the beginning I photographed sporting events, especially soccer, track and field. Many years passed and it was a long way from the photographs that I take today. It was very important for me to collect old images of my home town and compare them with the present. For the first time I realised how human beings changed their environment and I also realised that many people no longer perceive these changes.
JC: Any emerging artists inspiring you at the moment?
RS: Götz Diergarten, Pavel Tereshkovets & Maximilian Haidacher.
JC: Whats your current project all about?
RS: A few months ago I have finished my project isolated. It’s about the living conditions of lonesome trees in different cities.
My recent project, which is currently under development and it is about modern architecture in Barcelona, Spain. For a long time I am fascinated by the interaction of structure, shapes and colors of modern architecture. In Barcelona I found wonderful buildings with extraordinary facades and now I’m trying to create an interesting series about this phenomenon.
JC: Where are you currently living and how is it shaping you?
RS: Currently I’m living in a small town near Nuremberg in the south of Germany. But many of my pictures are taken in Spain, which I have visited often in the past few years. The Spanish countryside is inspiring me tremendously, especially the vastness and tranquility of the Provincia of La Mancha, a plateau in central Spain. The Spanish problems are a photographic challenge, too. Spain is currently suffering from a severe housing crisis which is documented by many vacant residential blocks and abandoned construction sites. Another problem is the destruction of nature through the tourism, which is of crucial importance for Spain.
JC: One piece of advice to recent photography graduates?
RS: Yes, I hope, I can give some helpful advices: A fine art photographer should have a lot of patience, should never give up, should never subordinate his beliefs to commerce or money and last but not least, the trend should not be his friend.
JC: Any big plans for 2012?
RS: In the coming months I hope to find galleries that will represent my work outside Germany, especially in the U.S. and Europe.
JC: Favourite tree?
RS: I love all kinds of deciduous trees, especially oaks and beeches.