Jonathan Gitelson


Image Credit: Jonathan Gitelson, The Green Dolphin Street
Jonathon Gitelson, Chicago, IL

The Car ProjectDuring the summer of 2004, I moved across the street from the Funky Buddha Lounge, a popular nightclub in Chicago’s West Loop Neighborhood. Each night I would park my car on the street and each morning I would find that numerous club fliers had been shoved beneath my windshield wipers and into the cracks of my windows. By the time I got to my car each morning, many of the other car owners had already left for the day, discarding their fliers on the ground. This form of advertising intrigued me – an attempt at communication with consumers that was clearly failing, creating huge volumes of what was essentially expensively printed instant garbage.Shortly after I moved in, I began collecting the fliers from my car and from the sidewalk around my home. By the winter of 2004/2005, I had collected over 1000 fliers, enough to cover my entire car. I spent three months hand-sewing the fliers together to create a car cover and have photographed the car, with car cover, parked in front of the clubs from whom I had received fliers.“The Car Project” was completed in December of 2005 and consists of eight large-scale photographs. Each exhibition print is digitally printed at 40” X 50” which allows the viewer to read the individual fliers within each photograph.

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5 thoughts on “Jonathan Gitelson

  1. This exploration of fliers is so interesting to me. The idea of finding useless things and making them art is wonderful. The concept is something that gets people talking, something that we discussed in our class that makes art, actually art. I think that using the fliers and sewing them together to make a car cover really makes a statement. He could have just thrown them out, and continued to be irritated with them everyday, just like everyone else. But instead of littering and making more junk, he made something well thought out, and interesting.

  2. humor is often forgotten in art, this work uses it subtly and has a bright color palette. The use of unconventional materials and found art accent the subject.

  3. I disagree with the first commentary, in that, I find this work un-interesting. I agree with the second commentary, in that, humor is often forgotten in art. I find this work lacking, because there is no thesis statement. While it lightly pulls at the idea of failed advertising, it is a weak ploy that needs more punch. There needs to be a “So what?” to this arts statement. You got a lot of fliers, so what? I think this idea is a good start, but needs to be taken further. Environmentalism could be explored: the effect all those fliers have on nature as they go from advertising to litter in the time span of a day. Why the advertising fails, how it could be more effective, the topic just needs to be explored further. While the artwork is amusing, art should do more than just grab a viewer’s attention. Once art has the public’s attention, it should say something. Otherwise it’s more or less like that friend who had a thought but forgot it.

  4. This image makes the viewer think a lot about everything that his happening. There is definitely not much in the frame, so why is this car in front of this particular building. and is it a newer car? or one that is just there for people to advertise on? I would like to see up close what people have put on this car over time.

  5. Its crazy to see the amount of paper being wasted. So many ads are printed and distributed, but they all end up in the garbage. I like how this was displayed in public. It makes people think about the accumulation of stuff such as fliers over time and how it is mostly a waste.

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