Togonon Gallery is pleased to present Dean Dempsey’s Exhibition: Selected Photographs & Installation - the first solo exhibition at the gallery by New York-based photographer Dean Dempsey.
Selected Photographs & Instasllation investigate spectrums of the familiar with images informed by both biographical history and fictional restaging. These photographs fasten themselves someplace within the collective subconscious of being both removed yet present at the same time. The show includes two bodies of work, “Artifice” and “Fragmentations” (2009-2011), that each create suspensions of disbelief to explore the body politic and representations of desire, fantasy and memory.
In “Artifice”, Dempsey portrays fictional characters to question conventions of the nuclear family, gender and the body politic. The images from this series carry a cinematic quality, offering scene by scene glimpses into a narrative based around a fictional family. Dempsey explains “Performance is fundamental in my work, whether in the act or in the idea behind the image. Details, gestures and the relationships between each of the characters push the viewer to imagine the subject’s histories and what could be happening outside the frame.”
With his background in sculpture, Dempsey uses images in “Fragmentations” to function as pictorial sculptures, inviting the viewer to play with constructed and perhaps strangely familiar imagery. Dempsey further comments on his process: “All of these works are less about the taking of a photograph as they are about the making of one. This new body of work comes after a long exploration in older work that addressed systems of belonging and outsiderness. From here, each series will be expanded upon with a loose grip, allowing the works to take whatever shape they need to best execute always changing concepts.”
Dean Dempsey graduated from the San Francisco Art Institute in 2009, and he has exhibited widely in the San Francisco Bay area. His works have been shown in Aperture in New York as well as galleries throughout North America, Europe and Asia. He received the International Photography Award in 2009, the En Foco Photography Award in 2010, the Puffin Award in 2010 and a nomination for the SFMOMA SECA award in 2010. He now lives and works in New York City.