Dina is a Canadian photographer and Pop Surrealist with a background in editorial/documentary photography. For Dina photography is intended not to produce an aesthetic that echoes current beauty standards, but to evoke and wrest feelings of shame, anger, shock and empathy from the observer so as to inspire insight into the human condition.
Dina's experience as a documentary photographer complements her conceptual photography — they inform each other technically and creatively. From her more candid work, she has learned that spontaneity and a lack of control are sources of inspiration. This has inspired trust in her instincts to nurture the most fleeting of concepts. For example, Fallen Princesses series was born out of deep personal pain, when she raged against the “happily ever after” motif we are spoon fed since childhood. The series created metaphor out of the myths of fairy tales, forcing the viewer to contemplate real life: failed dreams, pollution and ocean degradation, war, obesity, the extinction of indigenous cultures, cancer and the fallacy of chasing eternal youth. By embracing the textures and colors created by Walt Disney, which built a multi-billion dollar empire exploiting these fairy tales, Fallen Princesses exposed the consumerism that has negated the morality of these ancient parables. It also begged the question, “how do we define the concept of ‘good’ and how do we live a ‘good’ life?”
Dina's most recent sequential narrative, In the Dollhouse, has as Fallen Princesses did, sparked an international response. This time, she has taken on one of the most powerful symbols of Western culture: Barbie, the idealized woman. More than any other childhood construct, Barbie represents the concept that Beauty is Power and necessary to attain Happiness. However, when Ken, Barbie’s handsome but emasculated boyfriend, expresses his individuality, the value of beauty as an apex trait is exposed as a cheap, plastic facsimile.
Dina's work is exhibited in galleries and museums internationally.
She's currently in production on her third large scale project, 'Gods of Suburbia'. Dina also takes on very selected commissioned projects that interest and inspire her.
This year Dina celebrates her XX year in photography and is working on her debut published book, STORYOGRAPHY.
She lives in Vancouver with her filmmaker husband, Jonas Quastel, and her two young daughters, Jordan and Zoe.