Good Weekend Art Column

Dina Goldstein – Lyons Gallery, Sydney

Published May 18, 2019
Dina Goldstein, 'Lakshmi' (2014)


Artist: Dina Goldstein

Lives: Vancouver, Canada

Age: 49

Represented by:Lyons Gallery, Paddington, Sydney (Plus galleries in USA, Canada, UK, Italy, France and Portugal)

Her thing.Humorous-but-serious, elaborately staged colour photographs on the theme of religion in a secular world.

Our take.Every year Sydney’s Head-On Photo Festival gets bigger and more ambitious. Among a range of leading international photographers showing their work in city as part of the festival, one of the most dynamic is Canada’s Dina Goldstein, who tells provocative stories in carefully staged scenarios.

In Gods of Suburbia, at Lyons Gallery, Goldstein brings together 10 large format, colour photographs on the theme of religious faith “within the context of the modern forces of technology, science and secularism”. This translates into a series of surreal, satirical images that put characters from religion and science into everyday settings. Jesus and his apostles enjoy their last supper of instant noodles and beer in a rundown suburb of Vancouver. Lakshmi, the Hindu goddess of wealth becomes a many-armed domestic goddess in a modern kitchen. Charles Darwin observes the animal behaviour of poker machine addicts. Satan is a tow-truck driver laughing at an old lady who tries to stop him taking her car away.

These photos ask if it’s possible to have faith in anything nowadays. Where does religion stand when everything around us seems determined to turn us into cynics?

Can I afford it?

This bit is much more complicated than usual. There are 10 images being shown at Lyons Gallery as part of a special on-off printing for Head-On. These are for sale for smaller prices than Goldstein’s signed and editioned prints, but as I write this, those prices have yet to be decided.

Serious collectors would be looking at the signed and editioned works. There are eleven photos in the full series which are available in large and medium sizes (ie. 83.82cm by 116.84cm to 64.77cm to 88.9cm) in editions of 10. The large sell for US$5,500 – $14,000, depending on the scarcity of the edition. The medium sell for US$4,000 – $10,500. A smaller format edition of 20 (40.64cm by 55.88cm) sell for US$1,500 -$3,500. Prices are slightly higher for large, medium and small light-box editions. As one of Goldstein’s complete earlier series sold for US$500,000, these are very accessible sums.

Where can I have a squiz?

Lyons Gallery, 248 Glenmore Rd, Paddington, Sydney, 4 – 19 May, 2019.

Published in The Good Weekend, Sydney Morning Herald, 18 May, 2019