Jonathan Gitelson is an artist who currently resides in Brattleboro, Vermont. He graduated with a BA in literature and photography from Marlboro College and later received an MFA in photography from Columbia College Chicago. Gitelson’s work has been featured in many locations throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe, including The Museum of Contemporary Photography, The Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, The Museum of Modern Art in New York, and The Albert and Victoria Museum in London. Much of his work appears to be done in a rather scientific manner. Many of his projects display observation, measurements, data collection, and experimentation. His work also displays an evident dedication of time, his experiment-like projects often taking months to complete. He works in various media, including photography, artist books, video, installation, web based projects and public art and this becomes quite evident while looking through his body of work. Most of his pieces are photography, but some are a combination of photography and other materials. Not only does his work have a scientific process behind it, but much of it also appears humorous to the viewer. The subject matter of his work can be something rather silly or blunt to the point where it puts a smile on your face, for example his project Items Of Clothing Secretly Hidden By My Girlfriend (So I Wouldn’t Wear Them Anymore). His projects often consist of observation of everyday routines or everyday occurrences that are either so obvious or so normal they tend to be overlooked. Using this artistic approach, his art stands out distinctively because its main focus isn’t creating something beautiful to appeal to the eye, but rather something humorous or a process that’s thought provoking.
I found Jonathan Gitelson’s work to be visually intriguing because of his creative approach. It is definitely not a method I would consider in making artwork, yet it’s refreshing to see it done, because it’s uncommon. It feels as though his work is on the line between scientific inquiry and art due to the way he collects measurements, useful data and observations for each project, and how he runs experimental trials to find the answers to his questions. I feel that some of his work requires a description or explanation because it does not easily speak for itself as art. It’s evident that he likes working in a more narrative style, because most of his projects display a process day-by-day or step-by-step and they often feature the artist himself. He puts himself into his work both mentally and physically, which most artists don’t do. Many artists find a subject but rarely depict themselves. This is contrary to Jonathan Gitelson’s approach which adds to the intrigue of his work because it introduces you to the artist, rather than depicting a stranger acting out the ideas of the artist. I consider Jonathan Gitelson a one-of-a-kind artist and I hope that he continues with his style of work because it’s an illuminating addition to the modern art world.