Elisabeth Ajtay grew up in drawing, jewelry making, graphic design and photography with Tamás Kopasz and other contemporary Hungarian artists. Elisabeth Ajtay received a diploma in communications design from the University of Applied Sciences Dortmund in Dortmund, Germany and a MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute in San Francisco CA, USA.
Elisabeth Ajtay works mainly in the field of photography. Recurring themes in her work are those of home and belonging, linguistic psychological aspects of contemporary Western culture; how changes caused by forces beyond our control, man-made or natural, affect our social structures, individual and/or collective emotional states, and the human soul. Her multi-faceted, genre-free practice reflects her life as a nomad, growing up in two different systems and continually moving between them. Change, which is at the core of all her work and the most enduring aspect of life, generates questions around themes of loss, the unknown, and death.
Art and life as one entity becomes a fluid process, leading Elisabeth Ajtay to work on multiple projects simultaneously. She moves between themes and bodies of work that visually seem to oppose each other, yet, they are merely different approaches to the same topics from alternative perspectives. Each body of work is a step towards another. The concept as well as her current physical location determine the medium and the materials used. Elisabeth Ajtay describes herself as a “transnational”, in an attempt is to transcend labeling regarding race and nationality.
Ajtay’s work is in numerous private collections. She has exhibited throughout Europe and in the US, including inSPIRACJE and Art Moves Festival in Poland, Goethe Institutes in Morocco, Prague, New York and France and Don Soker Contemporary Art in San Francisco. Museum shows include the MKK -Museum for Art and Cultural History Dortmund, Germany and Blue Star Contemporary in San Antonio, Texas. She has received an honorable mention with PX3-Prix de la Photographie Paris, France. She was included into the Prequalified Artist Pool by the San Francisco Arts Commission and awarded a residency at the 3rd Street Studio Programs by San Francisco Art Institute. Most recently she was awarded an artist in residence at BANFF Center for Arts and Culture in Canada and the Vermont Studio Center. She further received two honorable mentions with the International Photography awards, one for her body of work Dialog (Dialogue).