A wide range of environments and character types are explored in the works of New York City-based Dean West. The Australian-born (1983) artist who studied at the Queensland College of Art, is best known for his intricate and highly staged photographs that take everyday occurrences beyond the realm of natural reality. Extraordinary in their tonal range, digital clarity, and artistic vision, West’s meticulously choreographed scenes, character studies, and atmospheric landscapes powerfully yet synthetically link needs to desires and documentation to invention.
Passionately dedicated to the vast possibilities of digital photography as both a medium and a cultural epoch, West’s narratives draw inspiration from the total diversity offered by the visual arts. While the tableau photography of Stan Douglas and Jeff Wall inform West’s understanding of photography as a form of contemporary communication, the paintings of David Hockney and Edward Hopper provide evident aesthetic direction. The fictional world of cinema and the functional language of advertising have also clearly left their mark and taught lessons of their own.
International art curators have taken notice of the accomplished skill West applies to both his digital photography technique and the complex, cerebral narratives offered in his images. His works have been exhibited at important institutions around the world including the Columbus Museum of Art (2012), Faneuli Hall Museum of Boston (2015), the Paris Expo Porte De Versailles (2015), Puls 5 Gallery in Zürich, and the Discovery Times Square Museum in New York City (2014). Hailed as one of the most promising artists of his generation and identified as one of the most accomplished practitioners of digital image making as an art form, West has been honored by acquisitions of his work by some of the most prestigious collections of contemporary art, including that of Sir Elton John.