Ulrik Gliese - Visual Arts - Biography
I was born in 1965 and grew up in the suburbs of Copenhagen in Denmark where I lived during the first 34 years of my life. In 1999, I moved with my wife and children to the US where we now reside in Maryland. My full-time profession is in engineering and science, and art is a passion that I need to pursue as an essential and integral part of my life. I presently do this on a part-time basis, during the very early hours of the day, trying to balance art, full-time work and family life.
My education and growth as an artist has been accomplished through working with my art, self-studies of craft and art history, part-time studies and workshops with photographers and artists, and study visits with artists, galleries and museums. This has led me on an interesting path in life filled with excitement, challenges, wonderful experiences and amazing people.
Working with my art, I have so far made three main bodies of work, have had a number of exhibitions in Denmark, and my prints are in private collections in Denmark, Switzerland, Canada and the US.
Photography entered my life in 1986 and became artistic in nature during 1990. Over the next five years, I worked and experimented with my art, and studied photographic craft and art history. It was a very exciting and educational time during which I produced two bodies of work (Sensuality and Wood Abstractions) and had seven exhibitions. This initial art development period culminated in 1995 with a significant exhibition at the Art Gallery in the House of Culture in Helsingør, Denmark.
During the same period, I went on travels in USA, Canada, Europe, Turkey and Japan, completed my Masters of Science degree in 1989, contracted the chronic Ménière's disease in 1990, and, in 1992, completed my Ph.D. degree and married my wife Marian, whom I met in 1982.
From 1996 through 2001, my life was dominated by having kids, substantial relocations, and job changes. Although work on my art became more sporadic in nature, this was a good time in my life with many great experiences on all fronts. Naturally, the best and most significant events were the arrivals of my daughter in 1996 and my son in 1997.
I continued to travel and made a number of trips to the USA together with my wife and children. In 1998, we went on an extended camping and image-making trip through the US Southwest. Although travels are exciting, they only give you limited experiences of other places and we had a desire for more. So in 1999, we moved to the USA where we first lived in upstate New York for a year and then moved to our current location in Maryland.
On the artistic side, the Wood Abstractions series matured into the Ouroboros work for which a substantial number of new photographs were made during 1996 through 1998. After our big move in 1999, work on my art ground to a halt for a while.
In 2002, I finally managed to resume my art career and I entered a new and exciting period of artistic development. New photographs were made for Ouroboros and I started investigating digital image processing and printing. After a year of investigations, I made the decision and transitioned from the darkroom to a digital workflow. I had a very exciting year during 2003 building my new image processing and printing skills and unexpectedly embarking on a new direction in my work, involving the nude figure, resulting in the Desolation series.
Since the fall of 2003, my efforts have been focused on the launch of Studio Gliese together with my artist colleague, partner and wife, Marian Gliese, who creates fascinating and beautiful paintings and drawings. It is marvelous to be able to work together as a couple sharing the passion, excitement and challenges of discovery and artistic development. This provides a very supportive and stimulating work environment, and it adds a unique dimension to our life together as a couple.
Although it sometimes frustrates me that I cannot find enough time and energy for my art, I do not regret a single moment of my life. Life has its ups and downs. It is very exciting and full of amazing moments and experiences but it also places many conflicting demands on us all the time. The challenge is to accept this and strike a harmonious balance between all the various things that make up a full life.
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