ABOUT THE ARTIST:
Natalie Obermaier is a Venice, CA based photographic artist who is obsessed with the human figure. Her first love is running film through her Hasselblad, but lately she has also been honing her skills with an Exacto knife in the studio where she has found a new artistic meditation in the intense precision of hand cutting paper, patience in the slowness of accumulating pages, and sanity in reimagining new worlds with fabricated players. After graduating magna cum laude from Philadelphia’s Drexel University with a degree in Photography, Los Angeles based artist Natalie Obermaier moved to Seattle where she assisted the acclaimed photographer, Jock Sturges. Working in the darkroom five days a week for three years under his guidance, she mastered the craft of black and white photographic printing, while also acting as his studio manager and model. Following this intensive immersion into large-format black and white photography, she traveled extensively, discovering her own voice as an artist. Her early bodies of work in black and white film are soulful and classic, showing a natural and deep connection with the people she photographs. Currently, Obermaier has turned her attention to hand-cut collage, sourcing her materials primarily from the glossy pages of women’s fashion magazines. When she isn’t lighting sets for Mark Seliger, David La Chapelle, and other commercial photographers, she continues to explore her own visual vocabulary and exhibit her work around the country. In 2019 she was an artist in residence at the Bush Creek Foundation for the Arts in Wyoming. Originally from Annapolis, Maryland, the artist lives and works in Venice, CA.
"Coalescing" is a response to the overwhelming pressures of mainstream beauty standards. Women’s fashion magazines in particular stand at a crossroads of cult, consumerism and the unattainable image. By re-appropriating and deconstructing their glossy pages into collages, Natalie “manipulates the manipulated” seeking to express something truer, hand-made and authentic. The resulting juxtapositions remind one of the excessive visual and psychological contortions that abound in advertising while also creating a new dialogue in response. Coalescing acts as both a rebuttal to the aesthetic pressures of advertising and reclamation of the human image to speak a deeper truth by reflecting a more personable and representative spirit of self.