The Artist: Esther Teichmann

April 17, 2013

The thing I love about art is that you can look at it, take it in, study the layers and come up with a hundred stories about what the image is saying. From the moment I saw Esther’s work I was moved speechless because I was instantly lured into a fantastical place filled with elation, loss, sadness, longing and endless possibility.

What an incredible gift to be able to tell stories and move people without words. When I gaze into Esther’s images I get lost in a world of utopia. Few things inspire me to imagine the way she does. Thank you Esther! …



where are you from?
weingarten, a village in southern germany in the rhine valley near the french border. my mother is american, my father german- they still live in the same house we were born and grew up in.

how do you create your images?
slowly, with intensity… i dream them, they exist already, latently and then come into being in different forms again and again, always the same but different.

what subjects inspire you?
the bodies that i desire, the ones that are home, the stories they tell…my practice explores the origins of fantasy and desire and how these are bound to experiences of loss and representation.

what do you do when a project isn’t going well?  do you continue, or stop and why?
i don’t really work on projects as such, but rather continually work on images that become bodies of work, but are all thematically linked, spiraling around one another. there are times when it feels impossible to make, when i just read and look at works, go to museums, sleep, wait for the work and energy to come back to me… it finds you and always returns, you just have to wait and know it will come when you least expect it, with a force that surprises every time.

you are giving your all time favorite artist a piece of your work.  who will it be and what will you give them?
so many artists i would love to give work to – and do – i am always sending books and prints to total strangers, which must be confusing. I wish I could live with a work by Marlene Dumas – perhaps I will send her a piece.

what is your favorite piece of art that you own and why?
a photograph called The Darkroom by an amazing friend and artist, Hal Sear. it is one of those works you wish you had made and feel like you recognize in an instinctive way.

what books inspire you?
Maurice Blanchot, The Space of Literature, Jean-Luc Nancy, The Fall of Sleep, Georges Bataille, Erotism, Marguerite Duras, The Malady of Death, Jean Genet, Carol Mavor’s writing and ideas…

you’ve had a crap day at work.  what will you do to let out steam?
lie in the sauna until I feel faint, cold shower until my heart races, repeat, then swim and lie in steam room.

what is your most delicious creation in the kitchen?
i am a terrible cook, or rather have no attention span within the kitchen.. i like to think i would be great if only i was interested and could be bothered- i make great pancakes and brownies when baking with my 3 year old niece who makes it all much more fun. we have very fun dinner parties and screenings at my place almost every week, but funnily my friends insist they come over and cook.

what is your other dream career?
a surgeon- am calm in emergencies and under pressure, like taking things apart and fixing them and sort of thrive off of adrenalin. it must be an amazing feeling.

what is next?
i am finishing a film piece shot in thunderstorms, dripping greenhouses, swamps and caves with a voice over narrative- the whole piece is very oppressive in dark greens and blues with lots of fog and steam- am really excited about seeing it come together in the editing process and working with sound. in terms of a bigger picture for the first time i have absolutely no idea and for the first time that feels right.

where can we see your work?
in my studio- come by and visit. in exhibitions listed on my website , in my recent limited edition artist book, Drinking Air… available online.

womanbacktrees studio-editorial-fashion-polaroids reading-room-785x598 getting-there-785x391 estherdoublevert estherdouble2 esther-teichmann-untitled-from-Stillend-Gespiegelt-2011-C-type-contacts-sheet-and-photocopy-785x621 Esther-Teichmann-Untitled-from-Mythologies-2009-40x50-inch-C-type-print-hand-tinted-with-inks-and-acrylics1-785x560 esther-studio-table-785x588 10mag-785x526 4-785x492 2-785x523


Esther’s News:

Currently in a museum group show; ‘Wahlverwandschaften’, Stadtgalerie
Mannheim, Reiss-Engelhorn Museum, Mannheim, Germany, May-July 2011

Recent and upcoming press and publications:
10 magazine, interview and portfolio of new work by Skye Sherwin (ArtReview).
Photographies, Routledge, fairytale by Carol Mavor based on image from ‘Mythologies’.
Eyemazing, portfolio and interview, Amsterdam, October 2010.

Included in  book ‘100 New Artists’ edited by Francesca Gavin, published by Laurence King, published august 2011 in english and german editions.
Work included in Carol Mavor’s 2012 publications published by Duke University Press and Reaktion Books.