Dean Reynolds is an American artist who is based in California but who is currently working in the UK after winning the Griffin Art Prize.
Dean started his talk by talking us though his main inspirations. He says he was highly influenced by Star Wars and from that theatre and films. Whilst studying at Northern Kentucky University as an Undergraduate he became really interested in the figure in a landscape and in particular imaginary landscapes. This interest spanned from inspiration from movements such as Pop Surrealism, Lou Brou and Weirdo Noir and artists such as Mark Ryden and Alex Gross who are intrigued in the symbolism and the absurd. Further on in his talk he also shows us Kuniyoshi Utagaua and Yosuke Uenu who study mythology in their work, another personal importance for Dean.
After graduating, Dean attended Arizona State Univerisity where he kept expanding his practice on figures in landscapes, however he expanded his research by looking at the Spiritual Fathers ( Dali, Odd Nerdrum, Wayne Theibaud.) It was here he completed his piece Demelza of the East. He explained to us that he only paints people he knows and has asked, someone who has interested him. Another painting called The Walker makes strong links to religion, surreal creatures such as those depicted in Dali’s work, freedom, sexual references and the feminine directing the masculine.
He talked us through his process, first starting by thumbnail sketches, then moving on to simple oil paintings before completing his pieces.
I am very interested in Dean’s work and I find his technique of high quality. Although I have not made my mind up completely whether I like Dean’s work, I appreciate his research and style and think his thought process on all his paintings is clear and concise. Having not seen real copies of his work it is hard to discover them for myself but after Dean explained the detail he puts in his images I would like to explore the hard copies.
As his images are copyright, here is the link to his website: http://www.deanreynoldsart.com/#!recent-works/cay5