"Hipsters and Drug Dealer"
Eric Deis, "Hipsters and Drug Dealer," photograph, 2009.
Shadows Cast on Imagination’s Past, October 1 to 25, 2009, Elissa Cristall Gallery, Vancouver
BY: Beverly Cramp
Eric Deis’ photographs mix colours, light, shadow and human activity. Take one of his most recent works, titled ‘Hipsters and Drug Dealer’, which will be shown for the first time at the Elissa Cristall Gallery this fall: bright yellow light from a restaurant illuminates a lone figure on a night street. A short distance away, a circle of young people lounge outside a pub building with three floors of apartments above (several of the windows reveal miniature vignettes). On the roof of the building is a large satellite dish lit up in an unreal blue. Closer inspection reveals there is a movie shoot underway in the back lot behind the apartment building, which is providing a hard edge of blue shadow in some places. In the far background, the sky has a post-apocalyptic feel from the city’s light pollution. Every inch reveals more detail. “My images are multi-layered and the foreground and the background undulate in relationship to one another,” says Deis, whose large-format photographs are neither staged nor manipulated in any way. Captured in situ, they balance colour exactly as photographed, making for hyper-real pictures as detailed as any allegorical renaissance painting.