We had the good fortune of connecting with Ronny Rose and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Ronny, what role has risk played in your life or career?
To honestly answer any question about risk, I think first and foremost one has to look at our cultural relationship to failure. I believe most of us are taught from a young age to look at failures with a feeling of permanence. As if to fail means some implicit thing about who you are, rather than failures sometimes being an element of process. It’s this fear of being a “failure” that stops most people from trying to do the things they quietly aspire to. I know it’s a fear I constantly have to grapple with. In the end though, I owe everything I have in my life today to the willingness to take risks, fall down, and do it all over again.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I wasn’t the person who had a camera in their hands at age eight. My story has always been one of trying to find a creative voice that fit. Over the course of my life I’ve thrown myself into theatre, sound, painting, writing, photography, time-lapse, poetry, and finally filmmaking. On a professional level that was tough, because at various points in my life I had start over to work my way up from the bottom again. This went as far as, at one point during my 20’s I quit my job as an audio engineer, and sold everything I owned just so I could live in a van with my camera, and thus have the maximum amount of time to be out learning how to make photographs. It sounds romantic, but the actual result, there were quite a few years of living off of PB and J making really bad photographs while learning, but I was lucky to find friends to help me, and colleagues to take a risk on me and pull me under their wing. Today I’m lucky to be able to make a living from directing and making photographs, but I still make work in a multitude of mediums as part of my creative process… And regarding what lessons I’ve learned… grit means more than natural talent, and it always seems to take longer when you’re in the process and then in hindsight.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Ok so I’m going to answer this question as if COVID hasn’t shutdown everything…. If I was going to show my friend around LA here are a few of “the must do’s” (in no particular order): Civil Coffee, Hauser and Wirth, Guerrilla Tacos, Museum of Jurassic Technology, Arcana: Books on the Arts, Cafe Birdie, Redbird, Meals by Genet, LACMA, The Underground Museum, Sidecar Donuts, The Fahey Klien Gallery, and drive up the PCH to go surfing at some of the spots closer to Ventura… the list is actually longer, but who wants to read all that, besides I can’t give you all the tricks up my sleeve. Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I’m really lucky that I have a community of friends and colleagues who are like a family to me. Each one of them pushes me and supports me in really special ways, but if I had to pick one person it would be my dear friend and occasional collaborator Dan Johnstone. He’s a brilliant writer/ producer, and over the years has been a constant force pushing me to run at the work that is most meaningful to me.
All images by Ronny Rose