Meet Chris & Katie
One part night owl, one part old soul, one part weary traveler, Chris has spent most of his life exploring parts of the world people don’t give a second glance, if not a first! Growing up with a brilliantly artistic and talented father, Chris has always been interested in art. When he found that photography is what he’s best at, he searched for new types of subject matter and immediately became drawn to rust, dust and decay. Within the last few years, he has combined his appreciation for urban and rural exploration with his cursed ability to stay up ’til dawn. Curious about the very young and burgeoning concept of night photography and “light painting,” Chris learned the basics from photographers Troy Paiva and Noel Kerns. With a lot of experimentation, Chris put his own spin on the new technique and paved his way as a night photographer in the midwest. In addition to joining the large rank of urban and rural explorers, Chris tries to find a unique way of looking at these abandoned spaces. The terribly fitting pun “shed new light” is unfortunately an excellent way to describe his mission, particularly to people who have no idea why there’s a guy out in the middle of nowhere at 2am climbing around an old farmhouse with colored flashlights when it’s 10 below zero outside.
Ever since she was a little kid, Katie has been obsessed with kitschy weird giant things. In her little hometown of Altoona, IA, she loved The Big Steer not because it was a local steakhouse favorite, but because of the huge fiberglass bull outside. At the nearby department store Richman Gordman’s, she begged her mom to climb around on the brightly colored fiberglass zoo animals. And downtown, in glamorous Des Moines, sat her biggest love of all: Crusoe the big green umbrella. She carried her love for kitschy weird giant things through her whole life. She wandered around in awe the first time she visited the House on the Rock’s ginormous whale, and the first time she drove past the Wisconsin Dells’ flipped over White House. So when she finally stumbled upon one Chris Robleski–whose love for kitschy weird giant things was plastered all over his Bay View apartment–she knew she met her match. Having recently gotten into photography herself, Katie soaked up as much as she could about Chris’s techniques, and when it’s dark, cold and very very late, she grabs a flashlight and sneaks into cob-webbed, mice-ridden, damp, moldy buildings to help Chris get the perfect shot (and she’s not afraid to tell him what looks like crap!).