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Make Imagination: Dillon DeWaters


In the darkness and dishonesty of abstraction there is a beautifully brooding reaction. It is very telling in its often-handcrafted purposefulness. It’s not that Dillon DeWaters is any more or less honest—no—he is merely accepting to the reality of his vision. His imagery storms and delights in its illusory and playfulness. There is a terror inside that tells you something has a power or beauty; it presses insecurity and passion. You can’t look away. Hungry eyes wanting, seeing, yearning. In their awkward assemblage (DeWaters photos) the hand is present; the mind is not tricked, that muscle is already aloof – as are eyes. DeWaters’ intrigue is in misunderstanding, searching for a semblance of reality. The works manifest a sort of accident that yields new results.

Everything is inside the camera. Unconscious, chagrin, risked, menaces in the embellished colors of DeWaters. A flash of light—a faceless body—parts and pieces organized in an assembly of misuse. DeWaters’ handmade experiments are his to own. A nuanced story emerges, things become unpacked. There’s a sense of the past in the oddly collected things, but the works are deeply rooted in present. Their interpretation is individual and unique. They are searching for something. A vehement atmosphere congeals the community of his imagery. Together they are oblong, obtuse, abject, abstract, joyous, and cunning.

Mystery gives just enough to the photos to create their own super naturalness. DeWaters’ collection of imagery feels like compiled knowledge to be displayed, figured out, and filled in. A collection of the uncanny doesn’t give a total picture of a thing. It’s up to people to add a little of themselves to figure out what’s going on. Unfamiliar hallucinations construct and combine in unpredictable ways. Moods of current projects bludgeon and oblige birthing new ideas. He’s a funny man, DeWaters. Uncertainty and amusement bemuse histories that excite him. He is full of play as much as he is full of horror. The works dance in this wonderful place.

Mystics and alchemy capture the presence of unnamed places. A photograph of something that can’t be seen elucidates an aura. Who is present and who is looking capitulates the feelings. They need not be exactly human, just nearly active participants. The push of DeWaters is featured in the acute obscurity of the works’ composition. And those colors – nearly horrific piercing at the sublime. A gaze of nothingness newly reformed releases a noose. There’s no strain. Mountain tops, smoldering pile, skies filled in new. The imagination is the faculty or action of forming new ideas, or images or concepts of external objects not present to the senses. This ability lives inside each of us and it’s at the core of DeWaters.

Efrem Zelony-Mindell

Efrem Zelony-Mindell is a writer, photographer and independent curator based in New York, USA.

Dillon DeWaters, Weapon, shapely, naked, wan
Published by Silent Face

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