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David Maisel’s work addresses the dialectic balance between what is seen on the surface of a photograph, the complex reality that lies beneath, and how beauty can suggest the ideal while obscuring the often-darker side of a subject. In his project Terminal Mirage (2003), Maisel intentionally obscures the function, location, scale, and condition of Utah’s Great Salt Lake. From his signature aerial perspective, Maisel depicts 40,000 acres of commercially operated emptied ponds and industrial pollution, capturing the terror and spectacle of environmental destruction.
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David Maisel (b. 1961, New York, New York) creates hallucinatory photographic landscapes of topographies. Whether capturing aerial photographs of environmentally impacted sites, human ash, or x-rays, Maisel creates rich images. Investigating the overlap between the realms of visual art and scientific research, Maisel’s ghostly images document preservation of some past history.