“I use photography as a tool to express my feelings and impressions. The original photographic images are digitally transformed so that colors and shapes turn into abstractions of the source image.
My intention is to convey the feeling of losing oneself in space with no sense of time and place, which is similar to the practice of meditation. I often work with multiple layers to achieve the final image, which emerges from my subconscious.
My favorite subject has been water, a fascination that resulted in my Light and Sea series. This work consists of abstract visual meditations on the interplay of air, light and water, the shifting of colors and shapes from form to formlessness. In Light Meditations, the brushing light lines on the water’s surface turn into visual rhythms, repetitive strolls on lines and dots.
With Musings on Words and Poetry, I incorporate repetitions of words and sentences from poetry and letters. The images pay homage to the vanishing word as a carrier of thought. The form of the square represents the four elements of fire, water, air and earth. I use the square as a sacred place to hold multiple layers of writings precious to me. The visual effects are similar to ancient hieroglyphs—an expression of my desire for timelessness and preservation.” — CM
German-born Christine Matthäi’s fascination with photography and film began during her early teens. She graduated from the Fashion Institute of Technology in Berlin, then moved to New York City in the mid-eighties, where she started as a photographer’s assistant. Later, she worked as a photojournalist and foreign correspondent for international magazines and newspapers.
Matthäi’s strong connections to the New York art scene stimulated and helped contribute to the exploration of her own artistic creativity. Over a decade ago, she decided to pursue her art photography full time. She moved to the East End in 1992 and now divides her time between Shelter Island and the Bahamas.
Matthäi’s work has appeared in shows at the Alex Ferrone Gallery, Cutchogue, NY; the Watermill Museum, Watermill, NY; folioeast, East Hampton, NY; Monika Olko Gallery and Tullla Booth Gallery, Sag Harbor, NY: ARC Fine Art, Fairfield, CT; ArtHamptons; Grand Gallery, Grand Bahama; Majestic Hotel, Dubai; Amarillo Gallery, Bologna, Italy; and Galerie Melior, Straubing, Germany, among others.
current & recently sold work
CHRISTINE MATTHÄI speaks to folioeast’s COCO MYERS
CM/ DO YOU HAVE ANY SPECIAL OR UNUSUAL TECHNIQUES THAT YOU USE IN YOUR ART?
MATTHÄI/ I use photography as a primary tool. The original photographic images are then digitally transformed so that colors and shapes turn into abstractions of the source image. The images are either produced on plexiglass or as prints on paper which then serve as a canvas to be painted upon. For my newest series, Sand-gold Mandalas, I am mostly using sand and gold colors on paper.
CM/ HOW DOES THIS AREA INFLUENCE OR INFILTRATE YOUR WORK?
MATTHÄI/ My work is inspired by nature and stillness, by the extraordinary light conditions of sea, sky and water on the East end of Long Island. These conditions are reflected in my Light and Sea, Sacred Path and Architecture of Sound series.
CM/ WHERE DO YOU DO YOUR WORK? IN A STUDIO SPACE, OUTSIDE?
MATTHÄI/ I can work anywhere when I feel inspired. My house in Shelter Island serves as my summer studio. My latest Sand and Gold Mandala art works were initially started on several Bahamas and Florida beaches where I let the natural forces of wind and sun form sand patterns for my photographic images which I later painted on with sand and gold color.
CM/ DO YOU HAVE ANY WORKS BY EAST END ARTISTS IN YOUR HOME?
MATTHÄI/ I have works of several fellow artists from Shelter Island and I hope to eventually exchange art with my friend and sculptor Hans van de Bovenkamp.
CM/ ANYTHING ELSE YOU WOULD LIKE TO SHARE ABOUT YOUR WORK?
MATTHÄI/ I work in series and each series is a continuation of the previous one. They are all connected though my inner quest of seeking the core of our existence.