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David Maisel | nga

Photographer David Maisel (American, b. 1961) explores the camera’s ability to expose unusual views typically invisible to the naked eye. For decades he has worked in the field of aerial landscape photography, portraying industrially damaged environments from such a distance that the earth and its wounds almost appear as abstract forms. More recently his work has focused upon individual objects, as in his series History’s Shadow, where he photographs museum conservators’ x-rays of paintings and sculpture. Using Photoshop, Maisel heightens the mystery and beauty of the museum’s archival documents by intensifying contrasts and imbuing the images with a color palette reminiscent of early photographic processes. His luminous, large-scale prints simultaneously reveal both the internal structure and external details of the art objects. As Maisel explains, “They make the invisible visible, and express the shape-shifting nature of time itself.”