Garrett Jensen

(b.1974; resides Chicago, IL)

I am fascinated with violence, tragedy and despair because I never experienced these things first hand. My ideas originate in “hard luck” tales of manhood I find in conversations, punk and country western music, and action movies. —Garrett Jensen

Garrett Jensen creates highly dramatic, staged narratives of tough guys in morally questionable situations. Appearing in various guises, the character of a young tattooed rebel is central to each of the three bodies of work represented in Jensen’s Midwest Photographers Project portfolio. American Baseball Bat follows three swing-set gangster types who find a woman being attacked and then beat-up her aggressor, while Ballad of a Soldier chronicles the depression and eventual suicide of a despondent young man. The ethics and emotions of White Trash are far more subtle. Photographing from a fixed vantage point in a single bedroom, the White Trash pictures capture the alienation and lack of intimacy between lovers. The man in the series is always the same, but sometimes he is with a brunette woman and other times a blonde.

Jensen holds a BFA from Columbia College Chicago (1998), and is the recipient of an Illinois Arts Council Grant and a Community Arts Assistance Program Grant. He has exhibited at The Contemporary Museum, Baltimore; and in Chicago at NFASpace, Glass Curtain Gallery at Columbia College, Beret International Gallery, and House of Swing.