Marisa Baumgartner

Marisa Baumgartner (helvetica) | CV | Press Release | News | Press | Archives : 2010, 2013,2014

Her works named according to their date and referred to by the artist as “Overpaints,” this work continues Marisa Baumgartner’s exploration of images culled from public domain webcams. These appropriated images are taken from live Internet feed of ubiquitous cameras that sit worldwide, watching history moment for moment. These webcams are the “objective eye,” suspicious in their gaze with a sinister idea of codifying life. The gaze is unyielding, voyeuristic and removed. In the Overpaints series, she paints the images “out” using white acrylic or black gouache. The human hand re-infuses them with emotion and sentimentality. These forms become meditations on the historic white and black paintings of Minimalism.

The subjects in the images are symbolic, architectures of power. The mountain peak, the skyscraper, the monument become formalizations of both the geological sediment and emotional sentiment of our lives. The black city views represent emptiness and the void as well as recalling images of destruction and speak of the fragility of life in the built environment. In contrast, the white snowscapes of her familiar age-old mountains in the Alps symbolize stability, strength and history.

Marisa Baumgartner’s work investigates space, both concrete and conceptual, that exists within the vacuums of history, memory and idealism. Her images focus on the void, on the emptiness present in photographic images and the hidden/shadowy sentiments behind them.

Raised between Austria and the United States, Marisa Baumgartner explores the nexus of being both an insider and outsider. To view the modern condition mediated in pixels and parts, where each light in a nightscape represents a life, where a world can be traveled through a computer screen. She confronts at once feelings of nostalgia and loss, expectation and longing.

Marisa Baumgartner was born in 1980 in Washington DC, USA. She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts from Rhode Island School of Design in 2002 and her Master of Fine Arts from Yale University in 2006. She currently resides in New York City.