Close your eyes and imagine being on a futuristic roller coaster… in space. Swirling colored lights illuminate your path as thousands of stars, novae, asteroids, and other cosmological bodies flood the sky above you. Your emotions range from fear, to nervousness, to excitement as you race over peaks that ascend to unimaginable heights. You feel free as you explore a unique, hallucinatory world of light that transcends varied realities. Suddenly you move into hyper-speed, flying through sharp corkscrew turns and daring drops, stars exploding around you. It’s the wildest, otherworldly ride you’ve ever been on. It’s the mind of artist Ati Maier.
Born in Munich, Germany in 1962, Maier studied visual art in New York and Vienna, settling in the United States in 1998. After moving to the States, the artist was eventually drawn westward. Seeing the open terrain of mountains, valleys, deserts and especially the big open sky changed her work–and her view on life–forever.
Maier’s work is inspired by the great beyond in many forms. She considers herself an explorer in the purest sense. She is equally influenced by the vast open landscapes of the American West and the infinite frontier of outer space. Using digital and satellite views to inform her more extraterrestrial work, as well as geographical and geological images for subjects closer to home, Maier creates works she refers to as “microcosmic and macrocosmic landscapes.” These spatial ideas come together to create immensely futuristic and abstract landscapes, mesmerizingly hypnotic and chaotic.
Most of Maier’s work is made with ink, acrylic and woodstain on either paper or canvas. She often uses an airbrush to apply her heavily saturated medium, which maximizes the illusion of space. Her labor-intensive paintings start with three to fifteen overlapping sketches, creating the illusion of multi-dimensional interlacing layers of landscapes and subdivided architectural structures. Maier describes the process as “an organically growing puzzle coming together… the final image can never be predicted, as it is a direct result of the physical and the mental space I am in when I make the work.” In most recent years, she has also expanded into exploring video art and animation, offering a parallel to her two-dimensional portfolio.
Maier’s work entices the viewer to let go of the stability of a quiet, colorless life and enjoy the freedom to experience a new, unique vision of the world. You invited to lose yourself in an undiscovered, abstract world that only Maier, as its designer, can so beautifully provide.
Ati Maier is represented by the Pierogi Gallery in Brooklyn.
177 N 9th Street, Brooklyn, NY 11211