The Texas Photographic Society recently announced the winners of the October 2010 Porfolio Competition. Susan Barnett was selected for her work, Not In Your Face, as the Emerging Artist, and Ellen Jantzen received recognition as the Mid-Career Artist with her series, Reality of Place.
Ellen Jantzen was born in St. Louis, Missouri and completed her education at the Fashion Institiute of Design and Merchandising in Los Angeles in 1992. She worked for a number of years at Mattel Toy Company as a senior project designer and was exposed to Photoshop and advanced digital technology ahead of the curve. The combination of her desire to explore the world through photography, and her exposure to a broad range of technical options allows Ellen to create works that bridge the world of prints, photography and collage.
I am intrigued with parallel universes, space/time warps and other manifestations of altered, alternative realities. I am intrigued with the exterior/visible aspects of reality and how it manifests the interior, the hidden/unknown realm. In each of my series, I begin by taking a digital photograph of a staged assemblage of a variety of objects, either man-made or of a natural nature; the set-ups are essentially ephemeral “sculptures”. I then alter the images using various drawing and photography software programs until I’ve achieved my particular goal with the piece under development. Each series contains it’s own set of criteria; I’ve included a statement for each on the image pages.
Having recently moved to the Midwest after living in Southern California for 20 years I was, at first, unimpressed with my new surroundings. But this move has changed me and impacted my work by forcing me to deal with the reality of a given place. It has helped me pay attention to and appreciate the details of diverse environments.
Having always been intrigued with various aspects of reality, I chose photography as the medium to help me reveal/obscure truths. Traditionally, photography was viewed as an honest replication of the real world. But, as we all know, even from its inception, photographers used their medium to alter, accentuate and eliminate aspects of the “authentic”. As I deal with these issues, I’ve come to realize it is all about the landscape, the environment…. fitting-in, disappearing, blending-in, and perhaps, ultimately embracing.
In this new work, I have placed my husband (Michael) in various landscapes and in various poses to both highlight and obscure his presence while celebrating the reality of place.
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