March 22, 2023

To Wonder: Photograph as Art

To Wonder: Photograph as Art

Natalie Christensen’s exploration of surface, angle, shape and color

Artist’s Statement: The Deconstructed Self

In 2014, I moved from the state of Kentucky to New Mexico, leaving my lifelong home and 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 in exploring the more banal peripheral landscapes which 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 quickly became aware 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 with my camera.

As a psychotherapist I had learned the art of asking the question, and 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 often concealed from our consciousness. The scenes are an enticement to contemplate narratives that seem to have no remarkable life or history of their own, yet tap into something deeply familiar in our personal experiences: often disturbing, sometimes amusing . . . and unquestionably present.

Open Door
Open to New Ideas
Stuck Between What We Have Done and What We Are Going to Do
Can’t Escape My Own Escape
Can’t Get There From Here

Natalie Christensen is an American photographer based in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Her recent exhibitions include Nordic Art Agency, Malmö, Sweden; Building Identity / Modern Architectural Heritage of the Emirates, Palm Springs Modernism Week, CA; Abbaye St André Centre d’ art contemporain, Meymac, France; Pie Projects, Santa Fe, NM;SHIFTINGSCAPE (S), London, UK; Sahara West Gallery, Las Vegas, NV; Turner Carroll Gallery, Santa Fe, NM; Galerie Catherine et André Hug, Paris, France; Cedarburg Art Museum, Cedarburg, WI; Open Doors Gallery, London; Royal Scottish Academy, Edinburgh, UK; Embassy of the United Arab Emirates and Meridian International Center, Washington, D.C.; and Intersect Arts Center, St. Louis, MO.

Awards include 2022 Minimalist Photography Award – Fine-Art Photographer Of The Year 1st Place Winner and Art Folio 2022 Abstract Photography – Gold. Books include Minimalism in Photography, cover and featured artist, teNeues, Düsseldorf, Germany and 007 – Natalie Christensen, Setanta Books, London. Numerous publications have featured her work and interviews aired on KSFR radio, Santa Fe and UNFM – Artworld Innovators Radio, University of Manitoba, Canada.

Her camera of choice is the Fuji GX50 medium format. Her medium is archival pigment print on cotton rag, mounted to aluminum Dibond, satin UV lamination.

Studio visits by appointment are welcome.

Artist photo credit: Christine Alexander

#architecture#mixed media#Natalie Christensen#new mexico#photography
  • Colonel Jon D. Marsh says:

    From a vocation that undoubtedly dealt with many shadows and often the inner darkness of those who surrounded her to an avocation of recognizing unique angles to shadows and the inabling light surrounding her in a new home, and presenting them to us with layered titles enticing us to think. WOW. Thank you. The Bluegrass lost a talent when you migrated.
    The Colonel

  • Jennifer says:

    I’m captivated by the contrast of colors and natural textures. These images simultaneously bring me a sense of calm and wonder—stunning!

  • David Rogers says:

    These are amazing. Thank you!

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