b. 1981 Sydney, Australia
Lives and works in Sydney, Australia
While many artworks record time contextually, the work of Dean Brown speaks to time itself. Browns figures are like the sundial. Onto vacant space they cast a telling shadow: if the shadow is long the scene generally takes place at night, if it is short it occurs during the day. Yet the other conditions Browns subjects occupy are unknown, the background is devoid of matter and its tone is generally soft and neutral. The shadow, drawn and defined is what sets the mood.
Like the sundial, Browns paintings realise time in a way that is steady and quiet. They are formal in their conception and making: every angle is regarded, each rare pop of colour is chosen carefully, every body part is fitted together like the pieces of an anatomical puzzle. Shrouded in stillness and anonymity Browns paintings contain both a familiar and mysterious quality. His highlighted silhouettes seem to be having an existential encounter with the nothingness surrounding them and their noir-like sensibility compels us to speculate on who they are and where they are going. His still-life paintings depicting generic, glasses, bowls, and fruits evoke a similar kind of enigma and intrigue in the mundane.
With his patient eye, laboured handwork and a rendering of humble everyday pursuits, objects, and commutes, Brown creates a calm space that points to a stoic grace in the act of living life day by day. By pausing on simple occasions he shows us life does not need to be extraordinary to have meaning, each second is serene and every action has weight.
Brown has completed a Bachelor of Fine Arts Honours at the National Art School. He also holds a Diploma of Design, TAFE, Sydney, and from 2000-07 studied Classical drawing and painting at the Julian Ashton Art School Sydney. Brown’s work has been included in solo and group exhibitions in Australia and internationally. He has been a finalist in the Archibald Prize, Australian Print Triennial Prize, Fremantle Arts Centre Print Award, Mosman Art Prize and the Burnie Print Prize. He was awarded the Storrier Onslow National Art School Paris Studio Residency at Cite International des Arts, Paris in 2011.