Chana Wiesenthal Elias, born in New York, NY and now living in Fort Lauderdale, Florida is a Fine Art Photographer.
Her primary interest lies in exploring the relationships between time and place as they relate to memory, cultural identity, and the concepts of “self” and “other”.
“For me, art making is an exploration of the duality of our existence and the synchronicity of the experiences of the conscious and subconscious. My mentor, artist Jan Groover, told me years ago that good picture making happened when the artist “knew something” – when the looking and gaze was deliberate and conveyed meaning. It was an astounding statement coming from an artist recognized as a master of formalism. I learned photography as an art of “making” not “taking” images.” – Chana Wiesenthal Elias
Chana Wiesenthal Elias has an MFA in Photography from Bard College in New York, and a BFA in Photography from SUNY College at Purchase, School of Art+Design, Purchase, New York. She has exhibited her works across the United States and has also worked as a publisher and educator.
Photography is neither about technical skill nor visual acuity. It is a tool for creating a visual paradigm for the most basic comprehension of the world and our place in it.
Life is about process and photographic art creates a visual system of signage to describe that process. Art cannot be made by only learning about art. Photography cannot be taught in an institution dedicated only to the visual.
After graduate school I worked in my studio in NYC. Through the exploration of the interplay between cultural identity, collective memory, and religion I went deep into the community of ultra orthodox Judasim. As I began my journey into that world it was suggested to me that I photograph “Jewish children” but I chose to create them instead; I am a parent to five children.
“The beginning of the end of all literary activity is the reproduction of the world that surrounds me by the means of the world that is in me. All things being grasped, related, recreated, loaded, and reconstructed in a personal form, in an original manner.”
I believe that the same holds true for photographic art. Reproduction can only be imagined or created if one understands, knows, or can even acknowledge the presence of the original. In my forty-eight years of life I have learned much about the original; about both my inner and outer worlds and the interplay between the two. My work is informed by and synthesizes many perspectives and allows for the interplay of personal experience, cultural memory, and social identity; an aesthetic integrating the narrative of both “self” and “world”.
Chana Wiesenthal Elias
Chana Wiesenthal Elias’s exhibition will be featured and she will be interviewed in the August 2019 Issue of TOROSIETE Magazine.
Shop for Limited Edition Hand-Signed Fine Art Chromogenic Prints of Chana’s works in the TOROSIETE Museum Store.