Photographer & Filmmaker Gunther Maier on his creative calling, his love of motorcycles and cars, and his quest for a world record at Bonneville.
“Connection is so subjective, but if you think of what draws you into a photograph it’s never the obvious. I think photographers have a way of seeing into the soul of their subjects and shining a light on truth and essence that might otherwise be lost to the naked eye”
– gunther maier
About Gunther Maier:
I have an insane love for motorcycles, cars, and things that are made well. I’m sure this is rooted in my heritage.
I grew up in Ulm, Germany. I never made it to the Bauhaus school, but I did have a taste of the second coming of Bauhaus at the “HFG” Hochschule für Gestaltung in Ulm, Unfortunately, the year I applied the school closed due to lack of funding.
I decided to become a photographer’s apprentice. I spent three years learning the skill, hanging out in the darkroom for hours and hours after work developing my own photos and experimenting with the art- fully supported and encouraged by the company I worked for at the time.
From there I went back to school for Design and basic ad skills in Stuttgart. Then I packed my bags, moved to NYC and snagged a Mad Men job with a German ad agency. I created ads and TV spots for Mercedes-Benz, Porsche Design and Jägermeister, just to name a few. I’m proud to say the Mercedes-Benz work is now a part of the permanent collection of the Library of Congress. Later I opened my own agency in Philadelphia with 3 other partners and run it successfully for almost 10 years.
There’s this saying on your site, “To begin is easy, to persist is art.” I’ve never heard that saying before, but it’s so true.
Yes…it’s one thing to have an idea, but quite another to commit the time and energy to bring it to fruition. This is especially true of the right-brain-minded, those people fueled more by passion than process. The art happens when we allow the process to run it’s life cycle; when we don’t give up; when we continue to see a vision through to its natural end. All the while hoping that end is just the beginning.
So, I looked it up, and it’s a German proverb.
My father loved to make use of proverbs, and actually that one was used in our house a lot….
Another quote from your site, “His rich German accent, clothed with his free-spirited American attitude, hint at his uncanny ability to transcend boundaries and origin.” Can you elaborate about your acquired “American” attitude?
My strict German upbringing taught me to follow the rules, don’t cross the line (that’s a famous Mazda television spot)…so you can imagine how delighted I was to land in America where success is measured by the rules you break and lines you cross.
My love for Germany runs deeps, but I never had a much of a problem assimilating to the freedom and ease of an American lifestyle.
“You never know where to be, you just know that you need to be in the moment. You need almost step outside your own skin and be aware of the energy, the circumstances, the opportunities to see what’s happening above the surface and below and lucky enough to freeze it with your camera.”
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