Jason DeMarte’s ‘Tangential’ to premiere at RULE Gallery this weekend

Jason DeMarte, “Redwing Rumination,” pigmented ink print, 50 x 50 inches, 2023.

MARFA — RULE Gallery is pleased to present Tangential, Jason DeMarte’s sixth solo exhibition with the gallery. A public reception will be held on Saturday, September 30, from 4-6 p.m. with the artist in attendance. The show will be on view from September 29 – December 9, 2023. Gallery hours are Wednesday – Saturday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and by appointment. RULE is located at 204 E. San Antonio St, Marfa, TX. 

Tangential is DeMarte’s newest series of photographic assemblages that accentuate intricately composed flora and fauna, particularly birds, alongside seductive sweets and plastic detritus such as caps, cords and bags. Through his distinctive artistic process utilizing a commercial studio approach, he meticulously constructs surreal allegories that reflect a post-dystopian landscape while retaining the echoes of a past marked by depravity. DeMarte’s work engages with complex themes, such as truth, consumption, visual gluttony and waste, while simultaneously playing upon humanity’s unquenchable desire for beauty. The resulting images lure us in while conveying a sense of unease, highlighting how our addiction to consumption and disposability impact the natural world. 

To create the works in Tangential, DeMarte traveled to varying places, photographing his subjects in the studio and ‘en plein air.’ Continuing his artistic and thematic evolution, this series delves deeper into humanity’s contradictory biases concerning the natural world. The greater dichotomy between serenity and discomfort in the new works mirrors our species’ journey through modern times. 

Jason DeMarte was born in Lafayette, Louisiana, in 1973 and lives in and works in Ann Arbor, Michigan, where he is a tenured professor of photography at Eastern Michigan University. He received his B.F.A. in photography from Colorado State University and then his M.F.A in photography from the University of Oregon. DeMarte’s work has been exhibited in numerous galleries and museums, both nationally and internationally, including the Denver Art Museum, the Denver Botanic Gardens; Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art, Boulder; University of Michigan Museum of Art; Wessell Synman Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa; and the Detroit Center for Contemporary Photography, Detroit. His work has appeared in journals, textbooks, and publications including: “The Huffington Post,” “Feature Shoot,” A Short Course in Digital Photography, The Elements of Photography, Six Years Later, The Photo Review, Manifest, British Journal of Photography, the Black Warrior Review, and The Oxford American. Jason DeMarte is a two-time recipient of PhotoLucida’s Critical Mass Top 50 Photographers in the world.