Graham Dean’s paintings use the figure not in a literal way but more as a vehicle to convey ideas, emotions and psychological states. Whilst his works are representational, they escape the illustrative through his ability to draw a broader meaning from the deeply personal.
Employing a technique that he calls “reverse archaeology”, Graham Dean transforms the conventional use of watercolour painting. Contrasting layers of paint are laid separately onto porous handmade Indian paper, achieving a density and brilliance of colour that is visceral in its effects, merging the figure with the organic process of paint spreading through paper. Sections from several different versions of the same composition are torn away and reassembled in a form of collage, lending each image a rawness and immediacy which supports the emotive and dramatic qualities of the works. ‘He calls his figures ‘holding pens’ for emotion.
Graham Dean has exhibited internationally now for over 30 years and his work is included in many private and public collections throughout the world. He lives and works near the sea in Brighton, England and in the countryside of Umbria, Italy.