Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival
Dean West

, Palm Springs #1, 2015,  Digital C-Type 60”x96”
Dean West , Palm Springs #1
Dean West
, Palm Springs #2, 2015, Digital C-Type 60”x96”
Dean West , Palm Springs #2
Dean West,, Beverly Hills Gallery
Dean West,, Beverly Hills Gallery
2016 Featured Exhibition

Dean West
The Painted Photograph

April 27–June 25, 2016
Alison Milne Gallery
134 Osler St

Real in depiction and imaginary in association, The Painted Photograph contains a set of rigorously composed, scenic character portrayals that merge the pictorial traditions of cinema and documentary photography. The works owe a great deal to the staged imagery of Philip-Lorca di Corcia and Jeff Wall, embedded with a system of signs, visual cues and biases that can assist but not explicitly define what exactly is happening.

In the exhibited photographs, West reconstructs personal experiences and encounters in an ongoing investigation of his surrounding environment. Through the sampling and deconstruction of these moments, the surreal images explore how memory “is not a video recorder [but that] it’s a constructive activity that is in many ways accurate but prone to interesting errors and distortions”. [1] Directly relating this to photography’s ability to both record and deceive, West’s allegorical simulations force the viewer to consider the relationship between narrative meaning and their own subjectivities.

Utilizing the power of aesthetic force, the works displayed use a similar 16:9 format commonly used by the film industry and by doing so, draw upon Hollywood’s stylized aesthetic to captivate an audience’s attention. West is not interested in being referred to as a photographer as such, but rather someone who uses the medium to explore his own, constructed realities. With this distinction, West feels that people can move past the medium's association of journalistic representation, and interpret the works as the artist’s vision alone.

[1] How Memory Works: Interview with Harvard Psychologist Daniel L Schacter -

Scotiabank CONTACT
Photography Festival

80 Spadina Ave Suite 205
Toronto ON M5V 2J4
Gallery Hours
Tue-Fri 11am–5pm
The CONTACT Gallery
is wheelchair accessible.