Roland Hagenberg, born 1955 in Austria, is a photographer, writer and filmmaker who grew up in Vienna, Austria. After his training as a psychiatric nurse he started to write and take photographs for German publications. In the 1970s he founded the literary magazine “Die Klinge” (“The Blade”). Roland left Vienna in 1979 and moved to Berlin where he stayed for four years.
Berlin, then still separated by the Wall, inspired him to document life around him. His preferred medium was not only photography, he also wrote poetry and short literary essays which led to his explorations of New York in the 1980s. There, Hagenberg made acquaintance with a then 23-year-old artist who was already a star in art world — Jean-Michel Basquiat. They slowly started building their friendship out of which emerged a photo-series of Basquiat painting in his Crosby Street studio, which is the only series showing the prominent artist while working.
During the 1980s Roland documented the art world in New York and collaborated on book projects with now legendary artists such as Karel Appel, Martin Kippenberger and Keith Haring. It is Japan, however, where his interest in contemporary architecture originated and where he has been living now for twenty years.
Roland’s stories and photographs are also regularly featured in international magazines such as Vogue, Architectural Digest and Wallpaper.
Since 2010 Roland has been collaborating with Japanese architects to create experimental micro-houses in Raiding, the birthplace of composer Franz Liszt in Austria – among them Pritzker Prize recipients Kazuyo Sejima, Ryue Nishizawa and Toyo Ito. For his “Storkhouse” (designed by Terunobu Fujimori) Roland was awarded the Austrian Tourism Innovation Prize in 2014. The constant switch between words and visuals, print- and film media, lies at the heart of his work.