20 years (1999 – 2019) of photographic works by Colleen Gutwein. At the age of 5, Colleen developed her first image in a basement darkroom at her Grandparents house in Metuchen NJ. Years later she earned a degree in photography at Montclair State University with her Grandfather’s old Canon FT-b camera. This #miniretro shows Gutwein’s early use of 4×5 film (polaroid type-55) from her first solo exhibition, and the evolution of her work through both digital and traditional photographic formats and printing techniques, up through 2019 with a digital portrait of the medium format Jem. Jr. film camera used for The Newark Artists Photo Documentary Project.
Art & Artifacts of Newark: 233 Washington St Newark, NJ
‘We Are the Ghosts of Our Future’ encapsulates the analog portion of The Newark Artists Photo Documentary Project. Utilizing vintage Jem Jr. box cameras manufactured in Newark in the 1940s, Colleen Gutwein O’Neal forgoes the slow and methodical techniques of portraiture in favor of a more urgent and instinctive approach. A process that archives artists’ personalities in fuzzy, mysterious images emerging against a backdrop of vanishing architecture, forgotten places and artists’ workspaces. Putting forth a diverse cross-section of participants, the ghostly prints provide a subtle yet provocative commentary on the place of the artist in today’s society and the importance of honoring and documenting their contributions.
“ The camera was manufactured in Newark on Jelliff Ave in the 1940’s by the J.E. Mergott Company, and helps me to stray from the perfection of a digital image, and document these artists through my own artistic process. The gritty, fuzzy Jem Jr. images allow for disruption, ambiguity, and self-reflection by viewers, and create a truly unique perspective on archiving working artists. “ -Colleen Gutwein O’Neal
The Jem Jr. images are created in conjunction with modern, digital portraits depicting the artists in their studios or homes. The growing digital archive, the first such directory of significant visual artists in Newark, provides a useful tool and networking resource for the community at large and beyond. This portion of the project can be viewed at: https://www.newarkartsphotodoc.com/
May 5th was an incredibly grand opening of Express Newark. As a community partner at SHINE portrait studio, I offered black and white portraits to visitors, collaborators, and staff. Check out some of the featured images, and take some time to explore all that SHINE is involved in Here: https://www.shineportrait.com/opening