My artwork is created with a conscious focus on formal elements. Colour is a thoughtfully expressed key feature in my paintings, as are shape, line, and media exploration, particularly in my sculptural work. The formal elements are the common threads that make my body of work cohesive. My interest in traditional craftsmanship techniques, such as stone masonry, wood carving, and metal smithing allows me to experiment with a variety of media. I find the labor-intensive, manual work required to craft these materials to be a cathartic expression of the personal narratives my work reflects.
German born/Jersey City
Josef Zutelgte is best known for his sculptures and drawings, which transform his observations of communication and human behavior into conceptually rich images and structures. Often initiated by actual events, his work examines the personal, the political, and the social as it explores themes such as silence and the unspoken; power; connectivity; movements and trends; and the sense of touch. An underlying net structure investigating the way things are built or how they are connected with each other is often part of his imagery. “Grand Central Net,” for example, reflects the artist’s exploration of the passage and pathways way of daily commuters. Because art and life are influenced by experiences and events, Zutelgte’s process intentionally allows for the unexpected and the controlled accident. It is a process Dr. Thomas Sternberg has thus described: “The artist is to be found by searching, by the quest for the blue flower of the romantic, the magic word that makes the world sing.”
Wall Installation, Project Floor @86 Main St.
“The Seeing Eyes or Retelling the myth of Narcissus”
It is in the story of the Narcissus, it is in the endless selfies, that we create and project, that we are still asking the original questions:
Who am I? What am I here for?
Our eyes continue to search for a glimpse of the truth.
They look deep past the structures of the face.
They look deep past the reflection on the surface of the water.
They look deep along the shapes of the boulders lining the bottom of the river, they follow the fish passing by.
This is the story about that search.
Site Specific Installation, Project Floor 86 Main
In my Interior Spaces series, I explore the idea of the tangibility of spaces that we, as social individuals, pass through daily in our lives. Sometimes we have a feeling of belonging to particular spaces, sometimes consider certain spaces our own, and sometimes feel that we don’t belong anywhere. Since I tend to not have a feeling of belonging to places in my daily life, I seek to grasp onto specific physical environments, allowing them to become palpable in my itinerant life. As I draw a connection between one’s surroundings and identity, my work escapes the monumental feeling of 2D painting. By highlighting each brushstroke with video projections, and by creating 3D environments in paint, my installations draw attention to the subject being alive.
Totems, Projects Floor 86 Main St
The Nine Muses of Greek Mythology were deities that gave artists, philosophers and individuals the necessary inspiration for creation. The nine muses are Clio, Euterpe, Thalia, Melpomene, Erato, Polymnia, Ourania, and Calliope.
The Muses were nine intelligent, beautiful and careless divinities. Each Muse was responsible for a different literary or poetic genre. They were created by Zeus, the King of the Gods, who secretly stayed for nine nights with Mnemosyne, the Titaness of Memory.
These totems are a tribute to the Nine Muses who have a long history and influence on our culture, reaching down through the centuries, inspiring this group of sculptures.
The creation of the totems transforms the process of making woodcuts from printing on a flat surface to fabricating a three dimensional form. The woodcuts used for the totems are printed on Paper or canvas, and than laminated onto the wood surfaces of the totems, creating unique images. These images express hieroglyphic-like patterns representing a mysterious symbolization. The arrangement of the totems into an architectural pattern conjures something similar to Stonehenge- a simple structure that brings about an experience of contemplation.
I, the artist, see these works as a crossroad between the logic of the known and the mystery of inspiration.