Jason DeMarte is an established artist best known for his highly detailed and seductive flora and fauna photo assemblages. His work has been exhibited in galleries and museums worldwide and has been featured in various publications such as the British Journal of Photography, Huffington Post, Hyperallergic, and Adobe Create. His solo exhibitions have been held at prestigious institutions and galleries, including the University of Michigan Museum of Art, Denver Botanical Gardens, Rule Gallery in Marfa, Texas, the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art, and the Detroit Center of Contemporary Photography. DeMarte’s work has also been included in prominent group exhibitions, such as the Exposure International Photo Festival, Context at Filter Photo Space in Chicago, The National: Best Contemporary Photography at the Ft. Wayne Museum of Art, and Exposure 2021 Exhibition, at the Contemporary Calgary Museum. His series Confected is part of the Midwest Photographers Project at the Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago, and his recent series Arcadia was recognized as one of Photo Lucida Critical Mass’ top 50 series. His work is held in private and public collections, including the University of Michigan Museum of Art and, the Museum of Outdoor Arts, Los Angeles Center for Digital Art, Saks 5th Avenue, and the 21c Museum Hotels. DeMarte is a professor of art at Eastern Michigan University. He received his B.F.A. in Photography from Colorado State University and his M.F.A in Photography from the University of Oregon.
My work examines a contemporary consumer existence through sublime tableaus of apathy. I’m interested in creating visually seductive landscapes with narratives of post-capitalist tensions. Through hypothetical dystopias, a rearranging of the natural order emerges from the ashes of our inconspicuous consumption, where nature, much like our commercial environments, has been impregnated with the detritus of marketing, consumption, and waste. Landscapes pop with carefully designed visual gluttony that attempts to compete with our limitless capacity to consume. Animals appear perfectly apathetic in overly adorned false environments, surrendering to the inevitability of what’s to come.
I work photographically to tap into the medium’s ability to reflect truth, and much like commercial photography, I see the work as a kind of nonsensical sales pitch, a seduction of false promise, where nature has succumbed to relentless marketing. By using the same methods as commercial photographers, I elevate seemingly ordinary, dull flora and fauna to the commercial stage where we understand and treat nature like the material world we surround ourselves with. In an age where truth is irrelevant, hyperfocus, artificial lighting, and scale are used to exaggerate facts. My process ultimately aims to embrace a manipulation of truth by hyper-exaggerating the ordinary to mirror the sublime apathy of our modern existence.