The Painted Photograph by Dean West

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. 

The project first started in 2015. It draws inspiration from how we see and record memories, starting with a foundational moment and then, upon re-accessing the memories, re-imagining and constructing them. Over time these memories end up getting further and further from the truth, as the mind inputs information into the scene. But The Painted Photograph draws inspiration from a Hollywood stylized aesthetic, and how it can draw in an audience using the power of aesthetic force.

All photos by Dean West