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Natalie Obermaier

After graduating magna cum laude from Philadelphia’s Drexel University with a degree in Photography, L.A. based artist Natalie Obermaier moved to Seattle where she worked alongside 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.

Today, she splits her time between lighting sets for commercial photographers and delving into collage art. By using found images, she pays homage to both the original subjects and photographers, but also appropriates their likenesses in order to remix the meanings and messages; weaving her own narrative out of many others. These original images often provide a scripted institutional display of inclusion and diversity that ultimately commodifies the Other and their bodies instead of demolishing and addressing the structures that underpin them.

Obermaier strives to challenge the illusions of glamor and the desires they project and provoke ways of seeing that both duplicate and redirect their associated realities. To question what is considered “normal,” both the visible and invisible boundaries built around us, and refocus our eyes to see beyond the carefully crafted constructs that make up our current experiences.

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