Vanessa Niederstrasser was born in Wuppertal, Germany, and currently lives in San Francisco, California. Her earliest memory of art making was at three years old, when her mom dressed her in a white lab coat and put her in front of a gray wall. She quickly transformed it with a sea of shocking green dots.
In 2002, she received her Masters in Architecture from the University of Wuppertal. Lacking patience for the regulations and guidelines that architecture required, she decided to study fine arts instead. After studying with Laurids Ortner and Irmin Kamp, she earned her Masters of Fine Art with honors from the Academy of Fine Arts, Düsseldorf in 2008.
Her professional work began with large-scale organic sculptures. In 2005, one of her monumental bronze sculptures was chosen by Deutsche Bank to replace a Max Ernst piece that had been moved from outside their Düsseldorf building to a museum. Her sculpture was realized and installed in 2006.
In 2011, she moved to the United States, a decision that resulted in a dramatic change in her work. Unable to find the raw materials she needed to continue with her organic sculptures, she abandoned organic sculpture to take on geometry in 2D. In 2019, she returns to Germany for a solo show of her paintings at the Siegburg Museum.