Jennifer Elster The Person


is an experimentalist,

writer, director, performer, artist and founder of The Development, an underground, multi-faceted studio based in New York City.  Elster's work offers a deep and direct awareness of the human condition and our current world crisis. Elster compulsively penetrates depth, while both antagonizing and playing with the boundaries in film and mixed media. She has collaborated with such artists as the late David Bowie and Yoko Ono.

Most recently, native New Yorker and underground artist, Jennifer Elster, has put forth a dialogue for our times in a multimedia exhibition, The Wake the F*ck Up Show, which will open at signs and symbols gallery on October 26th 2018.  A survivor of many tragedies, including 9/11, Elster cuts through to the artery to move the American conversation further along.

Under the banner of her grassroots, activism organization, Nonpartisan Peace, Elster created a video art piece for gun control, From A Concerned Citizen, and also wrote a campaign, Net Neutrality = Democracy, with Gloria Steinem.

Elster has been doing music and performance art at New York City locations such as the New Museum (group show including performance art by Jonas Mekas), Cornelia Street Cafe, Catinca Tabacaru, Salon Stux West, and West Park. Her video art was exhibited in such galleries as Central Booking  (group show including work by such artists as Carolee Schneemann and the late Kate Millett) and the New Museum in a show about death, curated by Heide Hatry with artists such as Jonas Mekas. Elster performs and hosts art happenings in her studio and private gallery, The Development underground. Most recently she sang her song Amid with pianist Sugar Vendil at the music benefit for NCP.

In 2016, Elster emerged from the underground and launched a pop-up gallery in Tribeca for her multidisciplinary exhibition, The Retrospective of an Extroverted Recluse PART ONE, culled from a large body of work amassed over Elster’s intense underground career – the first time the artist has presented her art work to the public. Elster has spent years of deep, and, at times, bizarre excavation into the recesses of her mind and the minds of her subjects, analyzing the depths of human nature. Using words, paper, canvases, photographs, audio, video and performance art, Elster obsessively explored ways to deal with the severity of reality. 

In Elster's directorial film work, Elster takes an unabashed look, in both documentary and fiction, into the complexities of the psychology of existence, which can be at times hilarious and at others times terrifying. In the upcoming film series (which she has been filming for over ten years) ...IN THE WOODS, Into the Cave and In the Studio, her subjects include Yoko Ono, Terrence Howard, Alan Cumming, Debra Winger, Rufus Wainwright, Aimee Mullins, Will Shortz, Questlove and many others. The films are written and directed by Elster, and are marked by her unusual instructions: the subjects have no idea what they have gotten involved in, what will happen, or if they will ever see the outcome. Precursors (The Prologue 1-8) were once available to view on this channel.

Elster has been filming The Development Underground series which includes: musical performances, the process of the process; interactions with guests who stop by; and performance art pieces.

Elster took note of the disintegrating progressive and experimental film and music platforms for original voices and decided to launch Channel ELSTER, a place for Out of the Ordinary Art, Cinema and Sound.

Please do visit J. ELSTER, where Elster's raw, sculptural, luxury accessory collection can be found.


Art Biography


Early beginnings

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