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« Christine Tarkowski at The Chicago Cultural Center Sweet Tea: Black Gay Men of the South »

Art Tue Apr 13 2010

John Fjortoft Captures Chicago

randolph2005-12.jpg

Photo by John Fjortoft

Jon Fjortoft is a little known and self-taught photographer whose black and white photos are on display now at The Chicago Cultural Center. The show is divided into two bodies of work: street photos of downtown Chicago and warehouses from neighborhoods in the western suburbs of Chicago.

The street photos sometimes capture the rare momentary solace the city can provide: a woman walking down the street, surrounded by no one or a someone waiting for the walk signal. Other times, he exposes the choreography of commuters who dance across the city stage. Sometimes, they line up perfectly along the geometry of a building or skip across the crosswalk.

Fjortoft also has a subtle, ironic sense of humor. There are a couple photos that illustrate this humor while exhibiting the way the city can reflect and interact with its inhabitants. One photo shows an American flag waving over the Michigan Avenue Bridge whose image is mirrored in the design of a (presumably) tourist's windbreaker jacket in the foreground. Another is of a homely, over weight woman who stands, transfixed by an advertisement at her bus stop that depicts a car full of beautiful women. The street photos are delicate and powerful, graceful and graphic. Fjortoft has a talent for seizing fleeting and beautifully understated moments that, had they not been captured on film, may have never caught the city-dweller's eye.

Jon Fjortoft will be speaking at the Cultural Center at 12:15pm on June 3. It is FREE.

 
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Anna / April 14, 2010 10:28 AM

Beautifully written Whitney!

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Architecture Tue Nov 03 2015

Paul Goldberger Describes the "Pragmatism and Poetry" of Frank Gehry's Architecture in His New Book

By Nancy Bishop

Architecture critic Paul Goldberger talks about Frank Gehry's life and work in a new book.
Read this feature »

Steve at the Movies Fri Jan 01 2016

Best Feature Films & Documentaries of 2015

By Steve Prokopy

Read this column »

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A/C is the arts and culture section of Gapers Block, covering the many forms of expression on display in Chicago. More...
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