Yvette Marie Dostatni

(American, b. 1971; resides in Chicago, IL)

Yvette Marie Dostatni’s ongoing series The Conventioneers (2002-2011) documents attendees of various conventions, from the Illinois Taxidermist Association Convention and Competition to the International Polka Association and Convention and the Player’s Ball (for pimps). Dostatni employs a photojournalistic style—often using a wide-angle lens and flash—to capture fleeting moments combining corporate interiors of convention spaces with glimpses into American subcultures. Dostatni states, “You can find a two to three day pass out of reality for just about any subject your heart desires. I like to photograph the offbeat in the groups of individuals I see. Not to make fun of anyone. Not because the conventions themselves seem ‘weird’ to the average person, but to show the idiosyncrasies of the places I attend. I am fascinated how every single convention to which I have been has its own underground set of unwritten rules, regulations and language.” Dostatni self-published a book of her work, The Conventioneers, in 2008.

Yvette Marie Dostatni has worked as a professional photographer since the age of eighteen and is currently earning her BFA at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Her work has appeared in numerous publications, including Spin, National Geographic, Time Out Chicago, the Chicago Tribune, and the Chicago Reader. Dostatni was a contributing photographer to the documentary book project, Chicago in the Year 2000, funded by the Comer Foundation. Dostatni is an Illinois Arts Council grant recipient (2007). Her work is in the permanent collection of the Art Institute of Chicago and has been exhibited at the Terra Museum, the Museum of Science and Industry, and the Chicago Cultural Center.