You have one more day to check out Dina Goldstein’s U.S. Debut, a solo exhibition of the pop surrealist photographer’s most recently published series of work, “Fallen Princesses” and “In the Dollhouse” at CHG Circa in Culver City, CA. Goldstein’s own “storyography” conceptual style likely blends the political satire of fellow pop surrealist Ron English and the hyperreal documentary photo technique of Dorothea Lange, creating a contemporary statement unique to Goldstein’s experience in the 21st century.
The charmed lives of Goldstein’s Princesses are debunked, whether it be a suburbanized Snow White, alcoholic Cinderella, cancer-stricken Rapunzel, or Pocahontas, the crazy cat-lady. Even Barbie and Ken, immortalized as plastic humans in the “Dollhouse” series reflect Goldstein’s own real world view of fantasy, destroying myths and reminding us again to be careful of what we wish for. “For me, photography is intended not to produce an esthetic that echoes current beauty standards,” explains Goldstein, “but to evoke and wrest feelings of shame, anger, shock and empathy from the observer so as to inspire insight into the human condition. I have always felt that my experience as a documentary photographer complements my conceptual photography as they inform each other technically and creatively. From my more candid work, I have learned that spontaneity and a lack of control are sources of inspiration.”
The exhibition is on view through Saturday, June 14, 2014.
Dina is a Canadian photographer and Pop Surrealist with a background in editorial/documentary photography. Dina’s Fallen Princesses series was born out of deep personal pain, when she raged against the “happily ever after” motif we are spoon fed since childhood. The series created metaphor out of the myths of fairy tales, forcing the viewer to contemplate real life: failed dreams, pollution and ocean degradation, war, obesity, the extinction of indigenous cultures, cancer and the fallacy of chasing eternal youth. Fallen Princesses was completed and discovered exclusively online in 2010. It immediately went viral, sparking conversation and international attention from academics, bloggers andgallerists alike. Dina’s most recent sequential narrative, In the Dollhouse, has as Fallen Princesses did, sparked an international response. This time, she has taken on one of the most powerful symbols of Western culture: Barbie, the idealized woman. More than any other childhood construct, Barbie represents the concept that Beauty is Power and necessary to attain Happiness. However, when Ken, Barbie’s handsome but emasculated boyfriend, expresses his individuality, the value of beauty as an apex trait is exposed as a cheap, plastic facsimile. Dina’s work is exhibited in galleries and museums internationally. She lives in Vancouver with her filmmaker husband, Jonas Quastel, and her two young daughters, Jordan and Zoe.