Romanian-born photographer Dan St. Andrei (or Dan Andrei, for short) adopts a philosophical approach to the art of photography. He states: “Life is eventually an eternal attempt to understand your purpose, to build up and mold, to grow and to define yourself … I would like to discover daily reasons to love myself.” His images take on so many different styles and approaches: from the fetishism of his sensual fragments; to the poetic dynamism of his photographs of dancers; to the reflexive and dream-like quality of his dystopic utopia images, which he calls, in a deliberate pun, Mytopia.
If his photo series have any common thread, it’s in depicting life, as Dan Andrei himself puts it, as “beautifully imperfect.” The beauty lies in the aesthetic impact, since Dan Andrei’s images are not only beautiful but also haunting. The imperfection is revealed in the human emotions and anxieties they reflect, holding a mirror to both what we reveal and what we hide within. As the artist puts it, through the art of photography, he searches “for the meanings and hidden motivations that put our world into motion.”
Like a Proustian recherche in pictorial form–a search for lost love, for impossibly perfect social structures, for the (unattainable) fulfillment of our sensual and sexual desires–Dan Andrei’s photography captures the peregrinations of our search for meaning in a life deprived of certainties.