Chelsea Dean

Featured Structure Artist

Chelsea Dean

Chelsea Dean (b. 1978) is an American multidisciplinary artist whose work examines and documents the relationship between the landscape, home, and time. While rooted in photographic processes, Dean’s work is ultimately an assemblage of various media. She utilizes paint, collage, print, illustration, as well as found objects to help produce a physical interpretation of the spaces she encounters. Informed by her time spent in and around decrepit and abandoned desert dwellings in southern
California’s Wonder Valley, her artistic practice is defined by both structure and entropy.
Physical and metaphysical structures can be examined in her work through the use of architecture and personal artifacts that link the memories of an almost forgotten, bygone era to today’s consciousness. These elements are in constant flux, left to the mercy of the natural world. Time proves to be the main subject of her work, acting as the catalyst for decay.

Aspects of home life are prominent in Dean’s work. Remnants of a past life no longer act as detritus, but instead embody a sense of humanity. The use of older furniture, rugs, and other home decorations are utilized in her installation works while her mixed-media and photographic work are filled with the imagery of structures and interior spaces. This highlight of the domestic space creates a sense of familiarity within her work. Architectural elements such as wooden posts and siding are showcased in a deteriorated state. Metallic media such as silver foil and gold leaf act as a reminder of once glamorous and ambitious ideals of past homesteaders now left behind. Textures of paint, fabric, and paper inform the idea of domesticity. Her compositions tend to hold a state of tension between environmental stresses and man-made structures, capturing moments that seem to perpetually teeter towards the edge of oblivion.

Dean earned her Bachelor of Arts in Studio Art from the University of Puget Sound in 2000 and then her Master of Fine Arts from Claremont Graduate University in 2005. Dean has exhibited work in numerous group and solo exhibitions worldwide at galleries such as PØST, Cirrus Gallery, Gallery Lara Tokyo, as well as many others. She currently resides and continues her art practice in Los Angeles, California.