November-December 2014 … The Global Online Magazine of Arts, Information & Entertainment … Volume 10, Number 6
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Ellen Jantzen/Photography

©2011 Ellen Jantzen

Credulity, from the series, “Losing Reality; Reality of Loss”

Embracing reality

The web is filled with a wealth of photographic material, some charming, some ‘anyone could do’, some that takes you by the shoulders and shakes you awake, some that puts you to sleep. Ellen Jantzen’s photographs call you back, like the memory of an event you can’t shake — images that cling, bringing to mind past events, and casting light on an unknown and mysterious future. Some reviewers speak of her work as an artistic exploration of quantum mechanics; one-hundred years ago her work would have been proof enough that spirits exist. Whatever your experience of Jantzen’s parallel universe, we trust you’ll take it with you.

Jantzen on Jantzen:

“Losing Reality; Reality of Loss – 2011”

I have always been interested in alternate states of reality, but looking over my last few series, those initiated and completed since moving to the Midwest from California, I see that I am also dealing with “loss” in some form; loss of friends, home, youth, and the ultimate loss, loss of life. Death transforms us; reality shifts, but to what?

Ellen Jantzen

I am intrigued with how a person adapts to losses in their lives — how they are absorbed by events and changed. How does one experience loss? Catastrophic losses usually have a face; think war photos, photos from the World Trade Center, crashes of various sorts; but I am interested in personal loss. What does loss look like?

I set about to address these issues through a photographic photosynthesis in this body of work — choosing photography as the medium to help me reveal, and at the same time enshroud, truths.

In this work, I have placed my husband (Michael) in various environments where a loss of some sort has recently occurred. One of these locations is the interior of a house designed by Michael and built by both of us for his mother about 30 years ago. The structure has gone through a radical evolution from its contemporary inception to being filled with antiques. Recently this home was sold, as mother was moved to an assisted living home. Clearing 30 years of accumulation to reveal the naked interior was transformative. To ultimately see a new family inhabiting the space has left Michael with contradictory feelings of loss and resurrection.

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View larger photos from the gallery please enter the FS button.

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©2010  Ellen Jantzen

Back to Nature, Missouri-1

Back to Nature – 2010/2011

At first, I began this series by placing my husband (Michael) in various landscapes and in various poses to both highlight and obscure his presence. More recently I have been photographing headstones in cemeteries and using these as stand ins for the human form. Since headstones represent a person who has passed, my obscuring and blending with the natural environment supports my intrigue with the vagaries of reality.

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©2010 ellen jantzen

Fragmentary Evidence

Reality of Place – 2010

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.

I have always been intrigued with various aspects of reality, and 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 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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View larger photos from the gallery please enter the FS button.

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About the photographer:

Ellen Jantzen was born in St. Louis, Missouri. She has degrees in graphic arts and fashion design from The Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in Los Angeles, has worked in the corporate world as a designer, and taught product design at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena. She and her husband Michael recently moved back to the Midwest from the Los Angeles area. For the past three years she has concentrated on the craft of digital photography, the results of which are represented here.

See more of Jantzen’s work: http://www.ellenjantzen.com

Jantzen is now represented by the Susan Spiritus Gallery and has added to the “Loosing Reality; Reality of Loss” series.

3 comments

1 Tweets that mention ragazine tweet: Ellen Jantzen/Photography -- Topsy.com { 02.19.11 at 6:45 pm }

[…] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Ellen Jantzen, Chuck Haupt, Ellen Jantzen, Ellen Jantzen, mike foldes, founder and others. mike foldes, founder said: ragazine tweet: Ellen Jantzen/Photography http://old.ragazine.cc/2011/02/ellen-jantzenphotography/ […]

2 Joyce DAde { 02.20.11 at 2:31 pm }

Ellen Jantzen is into the sublime in this body of work that has so much sadness and so much beauty. Abstraction takes to the zone of the spirit and blur goes way metaphysical in your work. I just love your work, lovely lady. Congratulations on your publication! Your visionary photographics are an inspiration to us all.

3 Joyce Dade { 02.20.11 at 2:55 pm }

Wonderful Metaphysical Beautiful Spiritual Great Abstraction!