»State of Being«
When I moved from Germany to California in 2011, I struggled to find my voice amidst the California Lifestyle—the glamour, the superficial beauty, the intense friendliness of the people. It seemed that look was everything, and everyone was acting. Positivity felt like a cult, and I distrusted those that didn’t freely express their struggles with me. Rather than feeling the exhilaration that often accompanies the experience of landing in a new place, I felt powerless—I thought I had to act like someone else to fit in.
Vanessa Niederstrasser was born in Wuppertal. Currently, she is living close to San Francisco, California and in the Rhinland, Germany. From 1996 to 2001, she studied Architecture at the University of Wuppertal. After graduation, she moved on to the Academy of Fine Arts in Düsseldorf, where she first studied Architectural Arts with Laurids Ortner from 2001-2003, followed by Fine Arts with Irmin Kamp. She graduated in 2008 with a Master of Fine Art, MFA, highest honors.