As a native of the rural north Georgia mountains, Amie Esslinger was immersed in the rich traditions and visual oddities of the self-taught art world. While the vibrant palettes and the DIY-with-whatever-you-can-find of her upbringing still resonate with and influence her art practice, it is the natural world that grounds and motivates Esslinger's work. Drawing on experience with ceramics, fabric, and sculpture, her paintings and distinctive mixed-media installations attempt to bridge the gap between art and science.
Esslinger received a BFA from Georgia State University. She has shown in galleries throughout Atlanta, including The World Unseen: Intersections of Art and Science at the David J. Sencer Centers for Disease Control Museum in association with the Smithsonian Institution. Esslinger has been a resident of Yaddo in Saratoga Springs, New York, and the Hambidge Center in Rabun, Georgia. She is a recent recipient of Idea Capital’s Antinori Visual Artist Grant and has work in the permanent collections of the CDC Museum and the Atlanta Central Library.
As scientific methods increase our knowledge of the world, they concurrently expose the vastness of our ignorance; deeper knowledge yields deeper mystery. Nature reveals that which appears orderly is deeply chaotic, while deterministic laws of nature yield diversity and uncertainty. By exploring and expanding upon the hidden elements of the physical world, I attempt to illuminate the apparent contradictions between order and disorder, observable and unobservable, beauty and monstrosity. In doing so, I hope to emphasize the richness, potential, and threat of the physical.
Using motifs from microbiology, I experiment with material, scale, and replication to create abstract biomorphs of vivid color, hyper-texture, and dedicated detail. I stress the physicality of the world through a labor-intensive process of painting, drawing, cutting, stacking, and aggregating a variety of materials. By mimicking cellular and microbial structures and processes, my practice conflates randomness and mutation with order and life-generation. I attempt to generate an aesthetic that echoes the complexity inherent in natural systems, while creating new mysterious organisms, both alluring and repelling.