Master photographer Dean Hanson is a self-taught artist who divides his creative life between Paris, France; and his home in Corvallis, Oregon.  His path to becoming a fine artist is an interesting story, which I'll let Dean tell in his own words. 

     In my heart, I suppose that I've always been an artist.  At least I told my parents that when I was about 3 years old.  I was born in Wisconsin in 1944, and grew up in Oregon.  Being a practical son, I heeded my Father's advice and attended college, where I trained in Chemistry, eventually becoming the Director of the Central Analytical Laboratory at Oregon State University.  In 1999, I retired from my position at Oregon State University and ran off to Paris to become an artist.

     My first recollections as a child were drawing and painting, something which has continued throughout much of my life.  Some three-dimensional work was also done along the way, but it was somewhat later in life when I really discovered my love of photography.

     As a photographer, I am self-taught.  I learned my craft by reading, observing, and most importantly, thinking about the art of the photograph. I continue to do these exercises every day.  In addition to chemistry, I have also worked as a machinist and as a mechanic.  All of these occupations have added to my art education: Discipline and a way of simplifying a problem from science, craftsmanship from being a machinist, and cursing from being a mechanic...all important attributes for an artist.

     I am a traditional photographer, still working with black and white film and producing silver gelatin prints of my work in the dark room.  Indeed, a photographer from 1910 would probably be familiar with most of my techniques.  Art, after all, is not how it's done, but what is produced.  The artistic expression is what's most important.

     Photography has the unique ability to really capture a moment in time, in the way the Impressionist painters meant to do.  Over the years, photographers have interpreted this in many ways, but to me this has always translated into a discovery of the image rather than a preplanned composition. Because discoveries in my world rarely last more than a few seconds, I must be very nimble: one camera and lens, hand held, using available light, and never try to go back to recreate the missed image.

     When I was very young, I went to least in my mind.  At the time, I lived in western Montana, where art museums were scarce, but I did have those beautiful art books. 

     It's difficult to separate photography and Paris.  It's also difficult to separate the beginning of photography from the art of the day.  Today, we give the credit for the advent of photography to Daguerre in France and Talbot in England.  In reality, it was many people working on this exciting new technology that would eventually be embraced by painters such as Edgar Degas and Eugene Delacroix. From the beginning, Paris was the happening place for photography.  When I decided to pursue photography full time, Paris was the place I wanted to go.  To this day, I continue to work in Paris, and exhibit my work there.

Dean Hanson has exhibited previously at the Sovereign Gallery, as well as the Atelier de la Main d'Or, Paris; Linn Benton Community College, Albany; Newport Visual Art Center, Newport; Pegasus Gallery, Corvallis; Galerie Amicorum, Paris; and Oregon State University, Corvallis.  His work is in the permanent collection of the Foundation Henri Cartier-Bresson, Paris, as well as many distinguished private collections in Europe and the United States.

Lastly, I should add that Dean generally prints his work in very small editions, just 4 proofs per image.  One of these is for his archives, another for the model, and the remaining two are then available for sale to his patrons and collectors.  He prefers to put his creative energy into making new work rather than reprinting older work.  Of interest to collectors, is that Dean chooses to keep the price of his work very affordable.  Most of his photographs, which are generally framed and matted, are priced at $400, with a few images costing slightly more, and a couple as low as $300.  In all honesty, given the quality and beauty of Dean's work, it's hard to imagine a better value.


Poetic Muse - The Feminine Form

Show Dates: May 6 - May 31, 2015

Opening reception and artist talk: Saturday, May 9th, 2015, 1:30pm - 3:00pm

"The Gray Scale"

Henri Cartier-Bresson Foundation, France, 2005
silver gelatin print

61/2" x 9 1/2"

"Tour Eiffel"

France, 1999
silver gelatin print

6 1/4" x 9"

"The Mask Shop"

Barcelona Gothic Quarter, 2010
silver gelatin print

7 1/2" x 9 1/2"

"Vincent and Theo"

Auvers-sur-Oise, France, 2013
silver gelatin print

9 1/2" x 7 1/2"

"Nude Study",

Atelier de la Main d Or, France, 2010
silver gelatin print

9 1/2" x 7 1/2"

"Le Bain Turc, a la Ingres"

Ville franche-sur-Mer,

France, 2013
silver gelatin print

7 1/2" x 9 1/2"


Oregon, 1999
silver gelatin print

10 1/2" x 13 1/2"

Michael Parsons Fine Art

716 S.W. Madison

Portland, OR 97205

Phone 503-206-8601

Gallery Hours:  Wednesday - Sunday, 12pm-5pm