Doug Winter is an artist exploring blindness using experimental photography processes.
This artist profile is an expert from an upcoming interview in A1-Tiba9 Contemporary Art Magazine.
“Tell us about your background.”
I spent my childhood 11 miles north of Denver, Colorado, where rows of cookie-cutter homes sat silhouetted against the cobalt-blue Colorado sky. The planned housing subdivision I grew up in was an island anchored 30 miles east of the Rocky Mountains. Inviting and colorful, the Rockies provided a reliable environment for me to explore and grow up and out of myself.
On my 16th birthday, I received a gift that changed my life direction, a 35mm film camera. I vividly remember the very first roll of film and the subjects I photographed; I fell in love with photography that day. Peering through the rectangular viewfinder altered my perception of the world around me and my place in nature. That feeling left an indelible mark on my heart. I often slung the camera over my shoulder on my way to rural adventures.
I photographed landscapes, wildlife and abstract details I found in nature. I used these photographs as inspiration for drawing and painting. I didn’t think of myself as a photographer then; I thought of myself as an artist. I still think of myself this way.
After graduating from high school, I enrolled in a photography program, graduated a few years later with a degree in photography and a “Best Portfolio” commendation. After graduation, I immediately moved to Washington, D.C., and began my career, frequently photographing significant events at the White House.
Opportunities to photograph two U.S. presidents, heads of state, diplomats and celebrities helped me hone my skills and editorial instincts. Through these interactions and assignments, living and working on Capitol Hill and the White House, I witnessed the power of photography and observing how the medium can raise awareness and hope.
Over the years, I’ve created hundreds of editorial photo illustrations for magazines, newspapers and websites. My visual curiosity gave way to a litany of experimental, historical and abstract photographic practices.
I have returned to the subjects I photographed in my youth in my current project, exploring those memories, and that affection and curiosity I felt with my first camera. I’m currently using experimental photography processes to explore visual impairments and blindness.
Before Covid-19 lockdown in California, I regularly volunteered at Friendship Park, a facility for unsheltered community members. Over the years, I created hundreds of portraits of the shelter’s guests which they have used to help gain employment or connect with family.
When I’m not creating photographically, I can be found in my home studio forming unique and one of a kind ceramic objects.
Your continued support during this historical time of our global pandemic is very much appreciated.
Photographs of Doug Winter © 2020 Kathryn Mayo.
Artist Profile Doug Winter