Terminal Mirage 32, 2003
Archival inkjet print
10 x 10 inches on 11 x 14 inch paper
Signed Edition of 50
(United States, b. 1961)
David Maisel is interested in 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, Maisel intentionally obscures the function, location, scale, and condition of his subject: the Great Salt Lake. The lake's most distinctive aspect is its richness in sodium, magnesium, potassium, chloride, and sulfate, all of which contribute to the ever-changing physical attributes of the lake. However, industry also plays a heavy role in the lake's appearance as evaporation ponds are commercially operated to extract salts and minerals for industrial use.
David Maisel was born in New York City in 1961. He received his BA from Princeton University, and his MFA from California College of the Arts, in addition to study at Harvard University's Graduate School of Design. Maisel was a Scholar in Residence at the Getty Research Institute in 2007 and an Artist in Residence at the Headlands Center for the Arts in 2008. He became a trustee of the Headlands Center for the Arts in 2011. Maisel has been the recipient of an Individual Artist's Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, and was short-listed for the Prix Pictet in 2008. Maisel lives and works in the San Francisco area.