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About the Photographer
Shot at separate times on separate negatives, Gest stitches together his subjects in a single frame digitally. Whether in a library, a bedroom, or a staircase, the subjects in Gest's photographs share the same place, but not at the same time and their proximity is without intimacy. Though he depicts routine activities in ordinary places, there is tension with people clustered tightly together somehow failing to interact and appearing isolated. Gest leaves subtle hints that the photographs are not documentary images–-shifts in lighting, surfaces that don't quite align-–that suggest the construction of these scenes and help explain the disconnect between the people in them.
Ben Gest was born in 1975 in Caldwell, New Jersey. He completed a BA in visual art from Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey (1997) and an MFA in photography from Columbia College Chicago (2002). His work is in the collections of the Art Institute of Chicago and LaSalle Bank, Chicago, among others, and has been exhibited at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; Stephen Daiter Gallery, Chicago; and Hyde Park Art Center, Chicago.