Photographer Ellen Jantzen continues to push the envelope of perception, looking at the world with the potential of other realities. Photo manipulations by photographer Ellen Jantzen that focuses on feelings of dislocation and assimilation caused by her move to a new environment, which can bring both delight and fear of the unknown. The series explores the realm of one’s environmental surroundings, how it is absorbed into the psyche, and how this changes through relocations.

“I approach this new work as both a window through which I observe my new surrounds (recording what I see) and a mirror where I bring my sensibilities to bear, reflecting my inner state of being. I use layering and blending modes to merge the observed environment with my internal intuition. I’m striving to visually capture the essence of my new environment while at the same time learning to understand.”

Ellen Jantzen was born and raised in St. Louis Missouri. Her early college years were spent obtaining a degree in graphic arts; later emphasizing fine art. Upon graduation she and her husband, Michael, settled down on acreage in Southern Illinois and set about to construct several solar and energy efficient structures including their 2400 square foot home. Organic gardens and goat husbandry took center stage in Ellen’s life but a desire for a more “artistic” life led the couple to Los Angeles California.

Ellen spent two years at FIDM (the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising) in downtown Los Angeles. Here, she obtained her advanced degree in 1992. After a few years working in the industry, including several years at Mattel Toy Company as a senior project designer, she became disillusioned with the corporate world and longed for a more creative outlet. Having been trained in computer design while at Mattel, Ellen continued her training on her own using mostly Photoshop software.

Ellen now uses her computer design training to advance her fine art career.  It was a true confluence of technical advancements and creative desire that culminated in her current explorations in photo inspired art using both a camera to capture staged assemblages and a computer to alter and manipulate the pieces. Ellen has been creating works that bridge the world of prints, photography and collage. Her photographs have been exhibited and published worldwide.  Ellen is currently represented by Susan Spiritus of the Susan Spiritus Gallery.

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