Growing up in the Austrian pre-alps, Anita Gratzer has been working as a photographer since her childhood.
She began her professional career as a highly decorated photographic artist with a diploma from the University of Art in Linz. During her studies, Anita received her first scholarships from the Austrian Foreign Ministry to travel to Krakow and Paris. This was followed by numerous grants and awards, including the Austrian State Scholarship for Photography.
Travelling through Asia and America, Anita Gratzer first worked on her series ‘Human Time Anatomy’ and ‘Fragmented Gods’ in Berlin, Vienna and Krakow. In the late 1990s, she exhibited at Art Basel, in Vienna with Rong Rong, and was working in New York for three years. In 2015, after over a decade of maternity leave, Anita Gratzer is exhibiting a new body of work. It articulates her memory of lost stories, her interest in Eastern traditions and forges links between them and the world as it is experienced today.
Anita Gratzer’s work is often about transfiguration, referencing materials and histories of the past to address references that are still relevant today. Drawing on the heritage of Christian iconography as well as Asian mythology and cultural lore, the artist layers pre-existing history with new narratives to create cross-cultural references. This creates a psychological field of pathos and transience that uses organic materials such as paper, textiles, wax, and others to create tender wrappings and forms.
As an artist she has been invited to China, South Korea, Iran, the Baltic States and several times to Italy, Finland, and Switzerland. These residencies, usually lasting several months, have led to exhibitions and participations in biennials in cities like New York, Shanghai, Rome, Tokyo, Leipzig or Daegu. Other than this she exhibits mostly in Japan and, since 2019, owns a studio and residence in Gunma prefecture.
Anita Gratzer, Jack Dracula, Philadelphia | She had the opportunity to do his last photo-shoot with him
after Diane Arbus did his first in the 1970s.