Stephanie Dean  | Modern Groceries, 2009

Modern Groceries is a series of still life photographs focusing on the way our purchased food is packaged and consumed. By setting common foods in their packaging and labeling direct from the grocery store into traditional nature mort compositions, our most common and necessary items of life – food – are jolted into historical focus. The viewers' various degrees of knowledge of Dutch still life paintings will be the measure by which the photographs will either found or further the perceived rift between ourselves and nature, and ourselves and our food sources.
These photographs are not merely a critique of our habits; they are also a celebration and exaltation of these common objects. Our excessive packaging and labeling of each fruit and vegetable with name and number will hopefully soon be a habit of the past, and these pieces will then serve as historic documents as the pieces of 17th century Dutch still life genre paintings do today.

Stephanie Dean attended the California College of Arts Bachelor’s of Fine Arts in Photography. She took a 4-year respite between undergraduate and graduate school, during which time she worked as a Software Test Engineer. In 2002 she moved to Chicago to attend Columbia College Chicago’s graduate program in Photography.

In 2005 she earned her Masters of Fine Arts in Photography from Columbia College. She then traveled to Hungary as an artist-in-residence in Balatonfüred. Upon return, she taught at both Columbia College Chicago and Oakton Community College. Subjects taught were Photography and History of Photography. She is returning to teach at Oakton Community College in the Fall 2009 Semester.

For more information, please contact Stephanie Dean at or visit