Jonathan Gitelson

Titles and Descriptions



Jonathan Gitelson was born in New York in 1975 and currently resides in Chicago. He works in the mediums of photography, book arts and film and he recently had a one man show at Peter Miller Gallery in Chicago ( Gitelson recently completed his M.F.A. at Columbia College in Chicago and is now teaching at numerous institutions throughout the city. Additional images are available on his website:


Jonathan Gitelson


Artist Statement





Commonplace things fascinate me. Overheard conversations, chance encounters and found objects are just a few of the seemingly mundane things that have inspired my work. By examining the overlooked artifacts of everyday life such as discarded letters or receipts, I catch a glimpse into the daily lives of people in my community.  


The process of telling a story with images is a major theme in my pieces.  Film, literature, and comic books have been my primary influences in this vein, and they found their way into my work as videos, artist’s books, and posters, respectively.  The posters are a cross between storyboards and comic strips and stand at roughly five and a half feet tall.


Some of my books and posters include multiple portraits.  Though part of a larger work, I also view the portraits as singular pieces on their own and much of my work has been exhibited this way, out of the context of the original setting.  As a body of work, my portraits reflect the overwhelmed awkwardness I feel in relating to the world at large.  I try to capture a “between shots” quality in these pictures, finding that moment when the subject’s expression evokes that dazed and bewildered feeling that lies beneath our competent faćades.






“Shaking Hands with Chuck O Luck” was constructed in the spring of 2004 and examines the ritual of complicated handshakes. It serves as both a storyboard and an instructional guide. “Shaking Hands with Chuck O Luck” illustrates an extremely difficult sequence of hand shaking as performed by my friend Chuck and I.