Dina Goldstein

This is definitely not the story that your mommy told you. This is the part that mommy left out, forgot to tell you, or was hoping you wouldn’t ask about. “Mommy, what happens to the princess after she meets and marries the prince?” Fantasy meets reality, and the fantasy ends exactly where we wish it wouldn’t. Dina Goldstein, Vancouver, Canada based photographer, creatively portrays our childhood heroines in their 20’s: Rapunzel loses her long luscious locks to chemotherapy , Cinderella escapes her reality through intoxication, and Snow White cares for her four children while Prince Charming is less than charming while engrossed in his TV show. If Book 1 is the story where the princess meets the prince, Book 2, visually portrayed by Dina Goldstein, is the part after the honeymoon.

Sometimes, the prince doesn’t quite live up to his potential, or her standards, and Princess Jasmine does get to see the world but through the barrel of a gun. Brace yourself, your illusions are about to be pulverized, and the following visuals contain graphic content which may not be suitable for all adult audiences…

Who is Dina Goldstein?

Dina is a wife, mother, and artist. I was a photographer before being a wife and mother so I have a very strong bond to my profession. I began my journey as a young person travelling and photographing anything that caught my eye. I studied for a while and then jumped right into a career. I began working for a weekly newspaper and then went on to shoot for magazines. I also work on ad campaigns and anything interesting that comes my way.

Now, I’m mostly concentrated on my fine art work. DM: What guides your creative output? Inspiration comes to me unexpected. Sometimes its viable and sometimes its rubbish. I usually sit with a concept for a few days and then decide if it’s going to work. I am also limited with budgets because I fund everything on my own…so I have to stay practical.

Do you ever reflect yourself in your work?

I think that every artist is reflected in his or her work. In my case I’m making social commentary within my photos. I’m expressing my opinions and fears. Your work is all about strong visuals that provoke nostalgic emotions and the pursuit of our disillusioned dreams. Are you trying to distort or reinvent our perception of the childhood fairytales that we’ve grown up on? I’m definitely not trying to reinvent our childhood fairytales… just to add a modern and relevant twist to the stories. In most of the fairytales we only follow the characters to their weddings. They have met their prince and now they ride off into the sunset and live “happily ever after.”

So, what happens next? Does it stay perfect for long or does real life kick in? I imagine what may happen next…of course with a brutally honest conclusion.

In the Middle East, although each childhood has their share comprised of Disney animations, there are also many other local cartoon characters more familiar and/or culturally relevant to a Pan-Arab audience.

Do you think your work on “Fallen Princesses” is universally relevant, or speaks to a specific national/cultural audience? I know that my series is relatable by all nations because of the major international interest that I have enjoyed. India, China, Brazil, Australia, South Africa.

The princesses are there to drive the point that life does not always end as expected, but I use them symbolically because they are popular and recognizable in many cultures. They represent a myth that those who are victimized will eventually find a happy ending. They are women facing a modern life with real problems. What are some of the negative and positive criticisms you’ve received on this specific series of work? Most of the feedback has been positive and encouraging. Jasmine and Red Riding Hood have been the most controversial. With Jasmine some people interpreted her as being an Arab at war or even a terrorist. That was not my intention. She was simply portraying a strong female warrior on the front lines. She symbolizes female soldiers around the world.

Red Riding Hood is carrying fast food in her basket. I had some criticism from obese people who felt that food was not the reason for their weight issues. My intention was that we live in a world where our time is limited and our habits have changed. We sometimes have to turn to fast food, which is not always the healthy choice.

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