Joshua Dean, painting with limited palette CMYK

To better understand my phone, I started painting like a printer. My process reappropriates traditional technique in order to explore how the photograph functions as cultural memory. This method provides liberation from ideological naivety or cynicism. My work exists in an over-lap of nostalgia and social media. Interpreting the painting digitally, I use a limited palette of cyan, magenta, yellow and black. The four transparent colors, layered one on top of the other, mimic the oscillated output of an ink jet printer. The finished product hangs, floating like a movie screen. In order to fully understand something, we need its adverse, or adjacent-other to compare it to. These paintings reside in this flux in between two themes, referencing romanticism and technology – history and the present – all at the same time.

Painting in a photorealistic manner, Joshua Dean chooses imagery from social media and the culture after the information age. His work investigates how photography, or the jpegs we all have, substitutes for cultural memory. Highlighting media driven advertisements, home movies and the history of photography, he hopes to expand on a sense of technical awareness.

Hailing from a small, Midwestern town, he learned the skill of escapism early. The pursuit led to a world within comic books. From this he developed interests in the figure and its place in the history of painting. He obtained an MFA from the New York Academy of Art.

Drawing from Pop Art influences, the young painter developed an appreciation for social commentary. Seeing the significance of both traditional and postmodern painting, he devised a plan to join the two by taking the techniques of Master painters and reinterpret them in the manner of a desktop printer.
Joshua Dean
Jun 25, 2017

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