Monthly Archives: September 2011

Jonathan Gitelson

Jonathan Gitelson


Car In Front of Buddha Lounge by Jonathan Gitelson, from his project The Car Project

Charity Giver by Jonathan Gitelson, from his project Dream Job

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.

Chicago El Stories by Jonathan Gitelson

Matt Siber

Matt Siber

Untitled #36, 2005/6 from The Untitled Project (The Europe portion)

Denny's, 2005 from the collection Floating Logos: Series I

Matt Siber is a gallery artist who works in photography, digital imaging, video, sculpture, and installation artwork. After earning a Bachelor’s degree in History and Geography from the University of Vermont, he went on to earn an MFA in Photography from Columbia College Chicago. He has also worked as a freelance photographer for a number of clients but is currently focusing on gallery art. The Art Institute of Chicago and the Museum of Contemporary Photography are both permanent homes for some of Siber’s work. Various museums in Europe, ranging from Galeria Antoni Pinyol in Reus, Spain to Galerie f 5.6 in Munich, present his work, which has also been published in various international publications, bringing him worldwide acclaim. His projects focus on advertisement and its effect on society. They range from the effect of advertisement of a specific event on a society, to the effect of product advertising and the attention given to specific big brand names over the more obscure or “generic” products. Though completely the same, the generics are often passed by because they are not strongly advertised like the brand name product, and are therefore viewed as less effective, or not as good a product. His approach to his work identifies things in society that are often overlooked until brought to one’s attention or until manipulated to the point that they are hard not to notice. For example, his project Floating Logos, in which, through the two view points of Series I and Series II, he captures a sign in which he has digitally removed it’s support to further increase its presence. Series I captures a view of the sign where you never see the ground and creates the illusion of the viewer being present in the moment beneath the sign.  Series II displays the environment in which the sign is located making it more place-specific and creating an equally effective approach at increasing the distinctiveness of the sign.

Smith 9 from the collection Mr. & Mrs. Smith

At first, I was not particularly attracted to Siber’s work, but as I spent more time viewing it, I found myself becoming more intrigued by the message and idea behind each photograph. His work really allows the viewer to see the strong impact of the commercial world we inhabit almost through a window, and recognize our part in it just as much as the subjects or products. I consider his most effective project to be The Untitled Project, in which each photograph captured a product or subject in which all the text was removed and the text was relocated to a blank white environment. I found it effective because our world is so commercialized and dependent on consumerism, and through his project he captures that commercial communication through the symbols and designs of many products in not only North America, but also in Europe and China. This project emphasizes the importance of the short but bold words or phrases of the commercial written language, and in other ways, with the text removed from the products and subjects it also emphasizes the logos or strong appearance of many products in our society and those internationally. I think through the use of such a strong idea and universal element, Matt Siber has a major impact on the world with which he is sharing his work.


This video, which is only a small portion of Siber’s 30 minute long video presentation: Wangfujing, Beijing, 2009 from his project Pulse, displays the process of an advertisement changing. The long billboard made out of many tiny panels changes every so often to display a new advertisment. What I believe is for effect, motion slows down every time the billboard is changing, and then speeds back up to normal pace while the billboard is stationary.

Robin Rhode

Robin Rhode

Robin Rhode & his chalk shoes

Having earned a degree from the South African School of Film, Television, and Dramatic Arts, Robin Rhode’s work largely consists of photographs and animations in which he often places himself as the subject. He is known to use various public places as his canvas, most often in the city of Johannesburg in his home country of South Africa. It varies from walls of buildings, to basketball courts, and sometimes even the street, but no matter what the setting, he is able to successfully create a piece that amuses or even amazes the viewer. This is reached through his personal placement into the piece, often captured on film to later create a series of photos or some sort of animation of a process or narrative. What adds to his work is the simplicity, his medium of choice varying between chalk (sometimes in the form of a shoe that’s fitted to his foot), paint, charcoal, or even soap! All of his pieces have a story or idea behind them, and they often have to do with modern day social concerns, but his pieces are so enjoyable because of the fun and silly manner in which he approaches his work. All the layers that make up Rhode’s work are what make it so intriguing and uniquely impressive.

Wheel of Steel by Robin Rhode

I’ve always had an interest in and fascination with street art and graffiti, and Robin Rhode’s work takes that genre of art to a whole new level! The message that he tries to capture in his work and the manner in which he does so is what makes it so fascinating. He adds himself into the setting of his two-dimensional pieces and interacts with them, performing to entertain the audience he has gathered through this unique approach. There is no limit to his subject matter with all the social concerns we have today and he finds no difficulty in approaching any one that comes to mind. Every time he creates a piece, it’s simply an addition to the urban environment in which he is working because he does not attempt to change anything about its former state, but rather he picks a meaningful location for his idea and just works with what’s there to make his idea come to life. The visual deception in his work adds to his one-of-a-kind approach and artistic method of combining a two dimensional creation with our three dimensional world. It’s evident that Rhode’s work holds a much deeper meaning because of all the layers he includes and it’s the final product he is able to produce that draws so much attention to his work.

Black Head by Robin Rhode

Black Head by Robin Rhode


Narrative Photo Shoot Proof Sheets

Narrative Photo Shoot Proof Sheets

Narrative Proof Sheet, Page 1

Narrative Proof Sheet, Page 2

Narrative Proof Sheet, Page 3

All the photos in this photo shoot were taken on the Auto (No Flash) setting of my camera. I liked the coloring of the setting and I got some good clear images as well as the few images that example dynamism which was somewhat intentional in the Dancing In The Fountain portion.

Pictures on a Rainy Day (Otherwise known as me testing my camera settings.)

Pictures on a Rainy Day (Otherwise known as me testing my camera settings.)

In order to explore the various settings on my Nikon Digital SLR, I decided to take a walk around campus and take pictures with the various settings. My Camera Settings consist of the following:

  • Auto
  • Auto (No Flash)
  • Portrait
  • Landscape
  • Child
  • Sports
  • Close-Up
  • Night Portrait

As well as the more manual settings, which I did not use on this particular occasion: M, A, S, & P

Here’s a glimpse at some of my results from Pictures on a Rainy Day.


Open (Taken on the Landscape Setting)

Tree On The Circle (Taken on the Sports setting)

Butterflies (Taken on the Auto (No Flash) setting)

Secluded (Taken on the Landscape setting)

Reflection (Taken on the Landscape setting)

Bicycles (Taken on the Landscape setting)

Signs of Remembrance (Taken on the Close-Up setting)

The Beauty of Seclusion (Taken on the Night Portrait setting)

In the Breeze (Taken on the Auto setting)

Flying (Taken on the Auto (No Flash) setting)



Alec Soth

Alec Soth

“I fell in love with the process of taking pictures, with wandering around finding things. To me it feels like a kind of performance. The picture is a document of that performance.”  – Alec Soth

This photo, "House At Night" is one of many, belonging to Alec Soth's Project: Broken Manual. The collection focuses on the idea of escaping from the oppressive societal norms to a place where they no longer exist. As stated by Soth, Broken Manual is "...Exploration on the idea of wanting to runaway, wanting to disappear. In the end, and I saw this happen over and over again to people I met, you need other people, and there's always some connection to society."

Kristin from Alec Soth's Project: Paris/Minnesota


Alec Soth is a Fine Art Photographer from Minneapolis, Minnesota. Much of his photography consists of works capturing the American Lifestyle and seeking beauty in things that aren’t typically seen as beautiful. Through his photography he captures the emotion in whatever the theme of his project is, through the use of inanimate objects and location as well as everyday individuals. Going into a project, he doesn’t always know what he is going to create through his medium until he starts taking some pictures and recognizes a theme within them. His work is more than attention grabbing photos, but rather it’s an Art with a message. In most of his work there’s an underlying message or idea, and an awareness of the human condition, as well as the power society has on it.


Kaskaskia, Illinois 2002 from Alec Soth's Project: Sleeping by the Mississippi




I find Soth’s work to be beautiful and quite intriguing. Having an interest in Photography, I find Soth to be truly inspirational. He started out just taking photos for himself, as well as enjoying the process of making books that compiled some of his various work, and then going more professional when he began to get a response to his work. His approach to photography is not just to catch someone’s attention, but also to create something artistically and subtly beautiful, for example a collection of movie theaters in Texas he photographed, which probably aren’t usually paid much attention. His style and subject matter is appealing to me because they are often of things that would catch my eye as well. It’s cool to see someone sharing works that display such ordinary, natural and dilapidated subjects that most people view with indifference. Its subjects like the ones captured in Soth’s work that hold an unrevealed beauty.


Niagra from Alec Soth's Project: Niagra


What’s the deal with Digital Art?

What’s the deal with Digital Art?

When you think of Art, what do you think of?

I’ll be honest with you, what first comes to my mind is Painting and Drawing, and I’m sure if you approached someone on the street, they’d have a similar answer, and thus begins my point. In our modern world, it has expanded from that typical idea of Art. We have experienced many technological advances in our world that have expanded our artistic abilities, as well as scientific and mathematical abilities on a universal level. When it comes to what are called Fine Arts, the process of making a piece of work like a painting is so incomparable, and each artist has a different idea and view on how they execute their work and the style in which they do so. With Digital Art exists the idea of Manipulation that is more easily done with digital works than those works that fall into the category of Fine Arts. With programs such as Photoshop, the artist can easily manipulate a normal picture into something so abstract you wouldn’t recognize it’s original version and at the same time, you can have two different pieces – the original photograph and the edited abstract piece. In the music world, a musician can make an acoustic track and take the audio file into a program and mechanically add in various forms of percussion or appropriate accompaniment. In the visual media world, we have many magnificent animators who create characters and settings through the use of computer programs, and create frame after frame to bring their cartoon-like characters to life. With Digital Art, there are many levels and forms just like there are various genres of Fine Arts.

With such possibilities as these, come those who deny its place in the Art world, claiming a disconnection from human ability. In my opinion, I find this to be false because just like an artist can leave their mark on a painting, they can leave a digital mark as well. It won’t necessarily be through the type of brush strokes they use or the way in which they create forms but rather in the ideas they have to transform a digital piece. No one thinks exactly the same; therefore no one can have an identical idea, which they will approach their digital masterpiece with. Granted there will be copycats who try to claim the approach as their own, but there does exist originality in digital pieces or Visual Art, Visual Media, Music, etc. It’s more than process; it’s a formula of creativity and innovation but also combined with aspects of science and math to achieve something remarkable.