Photographer Cheryl Maeder focuses her camera on the tension between reality and the abstract, encouraging viewers to perceive the world in a new way. See more of her work by visiting her website.
My work is constantly evolving. In the twenty five years that I have been a photographer and filmmaker, the changes in my work have come from my experiences and inside of me. I grew up in northern New Jersey—the land of shopping malls. Sometimes, on the weekends, my parents would take us to the countryside where I would see cows and horses grazing. This was so magical to me.
In my early twenties, I took off for the Swiss Alps where I finally got to milk the cows! I lived and studied in Switzerland for eight years, where I expanded my technique and vision of nature and beauty.
I returned to the United States and opened my photography studio in San Francisco. I did photography for major advertising and fashion campaigns. I transitioned from photographing fashion models to photographing real women.
I wanted to celebrate the beauty of women of all shapes and sizes. My photography work became the inspiration for the global Dove Campaign on “Real Women, Real Beauty” which helped to transform the way women are perceived in the media. In 2005, I relocated my studio to the Miami area and immersed myself in the art of photography and filmmaking.
My work is a collage of saturated memories from my early childhood, infused with my expanding adventures from my travels and everyday life. My defining moment came while traveling through the Costa Brava coastal towns of Spain; there, I began experimenting using my camera as a painter uses a paintbrush.
Seeing the world through painterly eyes, I began to deeply explore the relationship between the familiar and the abstract. My goal is for the viewer to see the world in a larger reality—what appears to be clear and in focus is only our perception. This adds tension and mystery to my images.
While the core of my work is photography, my investigation into video and large scale installations has expanded my visual world. By becoming immersed in the world of new technologies, and shifting between different mediums, new opportunities for rewarding and creative collaborations have occurred for large scale installations.
My photography work is in the permanent collection the Frost Museum in Miami and is exhibited at the Louvre Museum in Paris, the Boca Raton Museum of Art in Boca Raton and the Norton Museum of Art in West Palm Beach.
I was selected for a solo exhibition at the Miami International Airport in September of 2016 by The Fine Art & Cultural Affairs Board of MIA. The Public Art Installation, Submerge, was exhibited by the City of West Palm Beach for Canvas Outdoor Museum. My photographs were selected by Art Miami/Art Southampton in 2015 to represent Art Southampton worldwide in their global print and online media.
My photographs have been auctioned at Sotheby’s in New York and are collected worldwide, including Shanghai, Paris, London, Istanbul, Miami and Toronto.
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