I’ve always considered myself a lazy painter. As a student, I fell in love with Rothko and the New York abstract expressionists, as well as Richard Diebenkorn and the Bay Area painters. Their deft use of color and composition to convey emotion and a sense of place captivated me.
In the desolation of Syracuse, NY winters, I saw around me large fields of subtly nuanced color in the snow and gloom of the sky. The boundary articulating the difference between the two - that quiet little line where the tension lived - fascinated me. I was living in an ever-changing color field painting. It was then that my studies shifted from painting to photography, where I learned how to capture these subtle colors, how to encourage them and take advantage of them through long exposures and the failures of film. Thus began a life-long fascination with long exposures of spaces, and playing with our relationship with them.
Michelle Zassenhaus is an independent artist in Brooklyn, New York. Her work explores spaces - in particular, the passage of time (through long exposures) and the human relationship to space.
Michelle is a contributor at Getty Images. She received a BFA in Art Photography from Syracuse University in 1996.