Micaela Mau (born in 1986) is a German-Italian artist. She has studied visual communication at the Istituto Europeo di Design in Rome and at the School of Visual Arts in New York as well as Foreign Languages and Literature at the Università degli Studi Roma Tre.
While studying and working abroad in Tokyo, Frankfurt and London she developed an interest in photography, fascinated by the ambiguous relationship between photographic image and reality.
She currently lives and works in Florence, Italy.
about my work
Photography to me is not only a tool to mediate my view of the world, to capture transient impressions in time and share what caught my attention, but also a means of changing reality and challenging the way we look at things.
While working in retouching I was intrigued by the fact that we believe photographs to represent objective reality notwithstanding our own photographic practices and experiences of the medium, which clearly contradict this idea.
In my work I explore the transformative and transfigurative potential of the photographic medium, concentrating in particular on its connection to reality. Many projects evolved from experimentation with photographic techniques or post-production processes. Although the final image might hardly resemble oreven be linked to its original subject it is important to me to photograph mysubjects as I encounter them, in their actual light and natural setting. I hardly ever photograph in the studio. The change occurs either through thecamera or in post-production.
My work is greatly influenced by the abstract, surreal and conceptual art movements of the past. This is why I also embrace the odd and the fortuitous, what I call happy accidents. As a sort of photographic objets trouvessome of my projects develop around photographs of compositions that were not created intentionally but rather casually, arbitrarily, lacking any creative intent, sometimes even without human interference. By photographing these compositions and elevating them to art, I wish to add my contribution to the debate regarding the role of intentionality in creating art, what defines art and who decides what art is.
More recently I have started reconnecting with analog media like printed photographs, slides and negatives, investigating the way we relate to and treat family photographs in particular and semi-obsolete technologies more in general.
From the point of initial inspiration to their final form, some projects cantake years to complete.
When confronted with some of my more abstract work I want the viewer to wonder what the original subject looked like and how the final image came into being. Ultimately I want the viewer to be left with a residual feeling of dissatisfaction, to be ever so slightly bothered that something crucial is being withheld. And hopefully my work will also help to realize our fallacious perception of what is real and induce to reevaluate our relationship to the photographic medium.
Photography on a Postcard, curated by Gemma Peppé | theprintspace, London, UK
Celeste Prize 2017. Finalist exhibition, curated by FatoşÜstek | Barge House, London, UK
Dintorni urbani, racconto corale sulla citta di Firenze, curated by Elisa Biagini, Andrea Aleardi, Martino Marangoni and Giuseppe Toscano | Le Murate. Progetti Arte Contemporanea, Florence, Italy
Good Bokeh, curated by Yessica Torres | Dab Art, Ventura, Ca, USA