Provocative Portraits by Will Roger Peterson

Sierra Arts Gallery is proud to present "Provocative Portraits," an exhibition of erotic dance photography by Will Roger Peterson from November 4 through November 26. Known as one of the co-founders of Burning Man, Peterson brings more of his artistic prowess to Northern Nevada. 

Using a Nikon F-4 and Leica M-4 with normal lenses and Tri-X and T-max 400 film, Peterson brings black-and-white stills to life with an intense motion effect, created by using a one-second exposure, and strobe and spot lights while the subjects move. 

“I always believe that the technical part of photography was simply the tool that allows the artistic intention to manifest,” Peterson said. “No artistic intention, then no art, regardless of the tool.” 

Peterson’s intent with the erotic dancer series began back in 1987 when he started the series as a way to question the difference between erotica, fine art and pornography. This series toes the line between all three. While erotic in the fact that his subjects are nude, the gesture and movement in the photos augment the expression of sexuality. And while the images contain little identity, they are filled with expression -- some dream like, some grotesque, all unusually titillating. 

An opening reception with Will Roger Peterson will be held on Thursday, November 6th from 5-7pm in conjunction with Art Spot Reno’s Art Walk. 

After almost 20 years as a student, administrator and associate professor at Rochester Institute of Technology’s School of Graphic Arts and Photography, Peterson moved to Oakland, California to pursue his ambition as an artist in 1990. He opened his studio, Provocative Portraits, in 1992. It was there that he met his future wife, Crimson Rose, in 1993. She introduced him to Burning Man in 1994. In 1997, with four other friends, they founded the company Black Rock City LLC. Peterson holds a Master of Arts and Master of Science.