Ellen Jantzen :
I recently encountered a real relic of the past, a typewriter repair shop here in St. Louis. It was full of all forms of typewriters, from very old to electric IBM's. Having not used a typewriter for 20 years, I was intrigued with the fact that people are still using these and having them repaired.
But, mainly I am intrigued with who has used these in the past…. each typewriter has a story to tell. Was it used to write a novel, poems or letters to editors? Was it used purely for business? Which users are still alive and which users have passed on?
I feel that more than most artifacts; the typewriter has a very personal connection with the user on a physical level (touching) AND on an emotional/intellectual level. The act of writing, even if only transcribing shorthand, draws upon the inner world of the typist.
In this series I am invoking the spirit of past users of each typewriter I photographed.
Ellen Jantzen was born and raised in St. Louis but moved to California with her husband, Michael to pursue studies.
She spent two years at FIDM in downtown Los Angels. Here, she obtained her advanced degree in 1992. After a few years working in the industry, including several years at Mattel Toy Co. 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.
As digital technology advanced and the newer cameras were producing excellent resolution, Ellen found her perfect medium. 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.
Ellen is being represented by the Susan Spiritus Gallery in Newport Beach CA.