Tealia Ellis Ritter (b. 1978)

Tealia Ellis Ritter lives and works in rural Connecticut. Ellis Ritter's work contends with the intersecting roles of the photograph as personal document, familial marker of time and object with physical surface.

The Flowers for Oscar images, spurred by the visual impact of spreading her father's ashes and the resulting change to the color of the vegetation where the ashes were thrown, explore through repetitive reenactment the connection between the human body and the land. Prior to printing the 4 x 5 film, Ellis Ritter spreads, flings, drops or drips a variety of chemicals/materials onto the surface of the film creating color shifts on the negative and echoing the mark making act. Multiple exposures of the same image, all of which were taken on the farm where the ashes were spread, are used repeatedly but handled differently, liberating the image from its’ initial creation. The majority of the time the analog interventions to the negative include the use of chemicals, colored dyes, a very small amount of ashes and at times saliva. In some images all of the materials are applied to the films' surface in one sitting, while in other images the application involves multiple sittings allowing for them to layer and alter the light differently. The process is one of calculated thought but it is also a meditation on chance.

Ellis Ritter’s work has been exhibited internationally, most recently by Aperture, The New Yorker, Ain’t Bad, Der Greif, Women in Photography, The Magenta Foundation, Catherine Edelman Gallery, Taschen NYC, Double V Gallery, France, the Swab Art Fair, Barcelona and at Humble Arts “31 Under 31” exhibition. Her work has also appeared in numerous publications, including Rocket Science magazine, The London Daily Telegraph, Mouvement Magazine, Stella Magazine, Bloomberg Pursuits Magazine and The Financial Times of London.

Reenactment 309 (Impossible Blue), 2017

Framed archival pigment print mounted to dibond

60”H x 48”W

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Reenactment 308 (Maroon), 2017

Framed archival pigment print mounted to dibond

60”H x 48”W

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