Biography and Artist Statement
Dennis Ekstedt is a painter who lives and works in Vancouver, Canada. He received his Diploma in Fine Arts in 1986 from Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design in Vancouver, B.C and his M.F.A in 1993 from Concordia University in Montreal. He was the Eastern Canada winner of the RBC Canadian Painting Competition in 2002 and his paintings are included in many public, corporate and private collections. He has exhibited regularly and has recieved numerous artist grants from the Canada Council for the Arts and the Conseil des Arts et des Lettres du Quebec. His work is included in the publications Carte Blanche Vol 2-Painting (2008) and The RBC Painting Competition: 10 years (2008). He is currently represented by Herringer Kiss Gallery in Calgary, Alberta, Canadian Fine Arts in Toronto and Mark Moore Fine Arts in Los Angeles.
In my paintings I have depicted human populations as web-like networks of light particles spun over the landscape. In these paintings, clusters of undulating light populate vast and dramatic terrains that are literally electrified by human habitation.
Some of my latest paintings are depictions of silhouetted figures in light saturated environments, such as cityscapes at night and aquariums. In these paintings I want each figure to experience a complete immersion and absorption into an intensely lit environment. I want to suggest, with the observers in these paintings, a contemplative moment and an encounter with something uncanny. These works are inspired by the paintings of the Romantic Sublime (the Tonalists, Casper David Friedrich) but depict a contemporary moment. These are paintings of viewers, observers, photographers, explorers. They suggest one’s sense of loneliness and awe while witnessing something sublime and monumental.
My most recent paintings are of a series I call "Monument to Nature". Each painting is of a city at night that contains a human-made "monument" to the natural world. But in these paintings the monument only adds to the luminous chaos of the city and comes across as a misguided attempt at an acknowledgement of or tribute to the natural world.