Lives and works in Ann Arbor, MI
DeMarte’s latest series examines our cultural tendency to idealize the natural world while continually trying to improve upon it. DeMarte explores the veneer of material desire and constructed natural beauty by composing fictional tableaus that speak to our obsession with beauty, perfection and excess. Meanwhile, underneath the bright colors is an oppressive sense of disenchantment. By “improving” on the natural elements with lighting and post processing, nature becomes just another commercial good, victim to our materials desires. Carefully arranged, and then “sweetened” with sugary items and bright primary colors, DeMarte’s confections are indulgent treats that play with the boundary between the contrived and the natural. In the end the pieces mimic a consumer economy screaming for our attention and demanding that we desire more.
Jason DeMarte (b. 1973) is currently a tenured professor of photography at Eastern Michigan University. He received his B.F.A. in Photography from Colorado State University and then his M.F.A in Photography from the University of Oregon. Previous to teaching in Mississippi, Jason taught photography for three years at Zayed University, an all Muslim women’s University in the United Arab Emirates.
DeMarte’s work has been exhibited in galleries and museums, both nationally and internationally. His work has appeared in journals, textbooks and publications including; The Huffington Post, Feature Shoot, A Short Course in Digital Photography, The Elements of Photography, Six Years Later, Photo Review, British Journal of Photography, the Black Warrior Review, and the Oxford American. Jason DeMarte is a two-time percipient of the PhotoLucida’s Critical Mass Top 50 Photographers in the world. Some of Jason’s notable exhibitions include being the featured artist in the exhibition The Museum of Un-natural History at Clamp Art Gallery in NYC. Solo exhibitions at Rule Gallery in Denver Colorado, Wessell Synman Gallery in Cape Town South Africa, and the Detroit Center for Contemporary Photography in Detroit Michigan. Jason’s work is also part of the Museum of Contemporary Photography’s Midwest Photographers Project.