We live in a period of transition characterized by a new social fabric, new communications and new ways of considering and relating to the surrounding world. Contamination, hybridity and change. Embryonic stage.
We assist the process by which a combination of elements belonging to different systems, once they are taken out of context and mixed, create a new organism or product. In the mid-nineties, for example, writing pulp contemporaneous with the generation of the so-called Cannibal writers because of the cruelty and hyperrealism of their stories, was unraveled among the grotesque, extreme violence, mystery and magic.
The artist in question is extremely influenced: Dean Dempsey, an American born in 1986. His photography, a parallel narration between historical references and future visions, is characterized by a marked sensitivity to issues related to family and society. Fictitious characters and drama to challenge nuclear, gender and political issues. Collective fear, desire and imagination. The whole works with an undeniable sense of humor.
In that respect, and also returning to the concept of past, Dean through photography reinterprets the famous painting of Jacque-Louis David “The Death of Marat” (1793) calling his work “Berries” (2011), from the “Artifice” series.
Marat’s arm and that of Dempsey are nothing other than the almost real revival of Christ’s arm in Caravaggio’s Deposition (1602-1604). His “Phantom Father” and then “Union Pacific” series continue this subject but on the basis of a personal experience, when Dean’s father lost his right
arm and a leg in a railroad accident. Mutilation, a rather recurring subject in Dempsey’s work, marks the final step of detachment from the “old” life to a new existence and, certainly, a strong will to heal the wounds caused by the past and the present “hybrid” period.
Domenico de Chirico
Courtesy of the artist © Dean Dempsey
Posted by Domenico de Chirico