2002-2007 Academy of Fine Arts (Freien Akademie der bildenden Künste - fadbk), Essen
2007 graduate exhibition/Meisterschülerin of Bernard Lokai
since 2008 Solinger Künstler Association
since 2012 art project Mein wildes Heim
Using a digital camera, Manuela Stein focuses on details of her body. In doing so, she develops a pictorial world that is specific, and sometimes archetypal. With their delicate internal structures and folds, the surfaces of the skin constitute the starting point and are the raw material of her art.
Engaging in a dialogue of nearness and distance, of objectivity and emotionality, she trains her sights on feet and hands, for example, fingers and toes in a way that makes them seem abstract and provides space for a variety of interpretations. She mirrors and twists, she replicates and copies, she processes and creates new contexts.
The image composition follows design principles of geometry, in particular symmetry, as the basis of all being. The familiar becomes something new—parts of her body form a new cosmos: undiscovered and bewildering, fascinating and disquieting at once.
The chosen presentation style and the naming of her works objectify the sometimes very intimate view of body details: scientific collections and typological order systems for flora and fauna are being associated, as well as the archiving and anonymizing management of personal data and characteristics. The technical device of the camera becomes a neutralizing scanner, which unaffectedly records these data.