Artist Statement

4-D Portrait Room Series Artist Statement

I’ve come to find the idea of a room interesting. Each is a cubic space of material and furniture, built to stand for decades, if not centuries. In both home and business alike, what all might that room see throughout its history? What might fill it?

A room is only truly defined by the objects that occupy it – objects that in turn define the person who lives or works in that particular space. In this series, I wanted to tell the story of each place I shot, these first six all from the house where I’ve lived for the last twenty years. In essence, I was turning each image into a fourth dimensional immortalization; the photographs depict that room’s history.

Some objects are very old and have interesting stories. Others are simply disposable mass consumer everyday items that have managed to evade the garbage bin. And others still are forgotten items, taken out again at last to be placed in a still life, bringing with them a feeling of nostalgia.

Ironically, my original intent with this series may have been a take on materialism and our culture’s overindulgence and dependence on owned goods, but the more objects I dug out, the more I realized the coming photograph’s end result: a unique and precious snapshot of a family history and personal character – one filled with gadgets and trinkets, many of which no longer have much purpose or use anymore, but that we can’t seem to get rid of.

These photographs aren’t far separated from portraits. They may not put on display a visage that reminds one of their current age or past social status, but they do end up saying much more about each one of us on a deeper and more personal level.

Perhaps we’re not what we own, but what we decide to keep.

~ Ian Dean

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