“If an image leaves someone feeling a little bit uneasy, then I feel like that is a successful photograph,” says Natalie Christensen, named by the Los Angeles Center for Digital Arts as one of the “Ten Photographers to Watch”. Following exhibitions in London, New York and Los Angeles, the American photographer and psychotherapist now presents 'The Deconstructed Self' at Galerie Minimal in Berlin.
She finds her motifs in the banal scenes of the periphery of the American Southwest. Fascinated by the unmistakable light and crystal clear air, she composes photographs of suburban everyday life whose symbolism penetrates deeply into the subconscious.
The photographer on her series: “In 2014, I moved from the state of Kentucky to Santa Fe, New Mexico, leaving my lifelong home and my 25-year career as a psychotherapist behind. While it was an exciting moment it was also a time of questioning and reflection.
Like many artists who have come to New Mexico, I was immediately drawn to the distinctive Southwestern light. The beauty of the natural environment is evident to most people; however, my interest was to explore the more banal peripheral landscapes that often go unnoticed by the casual observer. I began by photographing color fields and geometric shapes. I was interested in the way light and shadow could spark complex narratives, and I quickly became aware that these isolated moments in the suburban landscape were rich with metaphor. Closed and open doors, empty parking lots and forgotten swimming pools drew me to a scene; yet it was my reactions to these objects and spaces that elicited interpretation and projection.
As a psychotherapist, I learned the art of asking the question – in many ways these photographs are an extension of that work. The symbols and spaces in my images are an invitation to explore a rich world that is concealed from consciousness. And the scenes are an enticement to contemplate narratives that have no remarkable life or history yet tap into something deeply familiar to our experience; often disturbing, sometimes amusing… unquestionably present.” Visit the website of the gallery for a new interview, and photos from the opening are available here.
Galerie Minimal in Berlin’s Kreuzberg district (Galerie Minimal, Mittenwalder Str. 57, 10961 Berlin) focuses on minimal photography. The goal of the gallery founded by Florian Wassily Kazimirski and Fabian Willi Simon is to be a representative of this internationally acclaimed style of contemporary photography and to offer exclusive fine art prints in small, limited editions. In addition to their exhibitions, the two founders offer interested people many opportunities to inform themselves about the represented artists and to get in touch with them. They provide a lot of background information on their website and organize events such as photo walks and artist talks.