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Kate Fixing her Earring, 2005 Archival ink jet print 12 1/2" x 9 1/2" image on 14" x 11" paper Signed and numbered edition of 50
(American, b. 1975)
The incongruous perspectives spliced together in Ben Gest’s images seem to expose ripples of discord in his subjects’ troubled psyches. Though they depict informal situations – a woman adjusting her jewelry or a mother carrying her child to bed – an undercurrent of psychological detachedness imbues each scene with a profound, but vague tension. Gest constructs these scenes by digitally stitching together information drawn from several different images. At first glance, the situations seem commonplace, until one recognizes the subtle shifts in the plane of focus, and the way in which his subjects appear to slip into spatial flux. Each portrait provides (or constructs) a glimpse into the self-reflective moments that occupy so many hours of our daily routine.
Ben Gest received a BA in visual art from Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey (1997) and an MFA in photography from Columbia College Chicago (2002). His work is in the collections of the Art Institute of Chicago and LaSalle Bank, Chicago, and has been exhibited at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; Stephen Daiter Gallery, Chicago; and the Hyde Park Art Center, Chicago. In 2006, Gest’s work was featured in a solo show at the Renaissance Society, Chicago. In 2007, Gest’s work will be exhibited at Light Work, Syracuse, New York, where he was an artist in residence in 2005. Gest lives and works in Chicago.