Spotlight on Artist Sabin Aell


What brought you to the U.S.?  Why did you make Denver your home?
The US was my favorite place to be since I was 18. I dreamt of living there one fine day.  Around 2004 I submitted lots of my work to “Call for Entries” to get my work out. One was in 2005 to the Center of Photography in Fort Collins and got into the show which Mark Sink curated. I flew out for the opening reception met Mark and the artists…all amazingly open, welcoming people. At that point I knew that Denver would be my choice. I fell in love with the people and the exciting electric creativity I felt boiling underneath the surface. While developing relationships with my new friends I made a plan and started collaborating on a project with Mark Sink. I came back in October 2005 to work on “Perfect Beauty” with Mark. During that time I met my husband Randy – it was love at first sight. One thing led to another and in December 2006 I moved to Denver permanently, it was a very magical time for me.



You opened Hinterland Art Space in 2008, what inspired you to start a gallery/art space?  How did you come up with the name?
For a while back then I was thinking about being involved in a sort of a communal space. I didn’t think about a gallery specifically. When the Month of Photography came up in 2008 a friend called me and asked if knew of any galleries to show her work for that occasion. All the galleries I knew were booked up at that time. So, I spontaneously suggested that we could set up a gallery space and have a show here at our new warehouse location which we just started to rent and had moved into. Shortly after Randy and I started with the build-out Hinterland was born. The name developed out of a conversation with a close friend who was visiting from Europe. It seemed to be the perfect fit. The Hinterland —where there is the unknown —beyond what is visible —David Bowie once wrote a song about the Hinterland: “Red Sails” and the lyrics go like this:


Do you remember we another person
Green and black and red and so scared
Graffiti on the wall keep us all in tune
Bringing us all back home
Red sail
Red sail action
Red sail
Some reaction
Action boy seen living under neon
Struggle with a foreign tongue
Red sails make him strong
Action make him sail along
Life stands still and stares
The hinterland, the hinterland
We’re gonna sail to the hinterland
And it’s far far, far far far, far far far away


This song is exactly what Hinterland is about, discovering new things, some might be frightening but they are new, colorful, exotic and strange. We are artists, explorers of the soul, emotions, stormy seas and vast lands. But what we find and come home with are treasures beyond words.






Can you speak to your design career before moving into art full time?
I went to a college for graphic design as I wanted to have something to support myself. After school it was hard to find a job. I looked for a year and couldn’t find anything. So I decided to buy myself a computer. I taught myself photoshop, html, and javascript. I started my new business as a web-designer. It was a total window of opportunity for me – I could use my newly acquired programming skills, illustration and photography to build top websites. In Austria at that time the web design business was all just starting. There were not many people who where savvy in this newly developing design industry. I started building websites for big companies like Austria’s biggest insurance company, KTM, etc. But I really wanted to move on and leave Vienna. The only way I could do this was by getting hired by a company in another country. Various applications later Frankfurt was my next destination. I got hired as a creative director  by Ogilvy & Mather Interactive which is one of the biggest advertising companies with headquarter in New York City. Some of the clients I worked with included IBM, Mercedes, Daimler Chrysler and the Dresden Bank. It was highly interesting to see how the big corporate world worked. Years in this business taught me how to streamline processes and focus on the most important essences.



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