* All images used with permission. Please do not distribute without first contacting the artist.
Dean Monogenis was born in New York, NY and earned a BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
Dean explains his work by saying, “Besides their practical usage, I had never regarded buildings or architecture as more than symbols or monuments to someone else’s memory or beliefs. This changed after witnessing the fall of the world trade center. Subsequent to that day, I began to see buildings organically in terms of birth and death. Interestingly the post 9/11 period was the beginning of a world wide building boom. At the time I lived in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, where the breadth and pace of this development felt like an invasion. Buildings grew nearly over night like mushrooms or mold before my very eyes. I found it simultaneously engaging and frightening. The instinctual necessity to develop every last inch of real estate was palpable. Buildings that sprouted up would often supplant or sit next to an older building with little regard for continuity or urban planning. There was a strong sense that these decisions were made out of expedience and practical necessity with little oversight. After overcoming my initial shock, I began to distance myself and consider the situation aesthetically. I interpreted the randomness as more akin to the shantytowns in Jamaica or the Favelas in Rio. I took notice of the simplicity and planer forms of the skeletal structures as they ascended upward. Brightly colored building materials like netting and scaffolding, became interesting to me. I thought if there was a way to distill the temporary and all its ephemera, isolating key pieces into my work, then I would be able to elevate the visual indicators that speak to this period of transformation.”