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I am a painter currently living and working in Chicago, IL. I studied at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago under some of Chicago’s most acclaimed practicing artists, including members of the Imagist- Harry Who movement, as well as leading contemporary figurative painters. At SAIC I was exposed to traditional and non-traditional practices and thinking about art and figuration while studying anatomy from living models as well as directly from cadavers at the North Western University medical lab.

For someone like myself who loves painting as well as history, It was an unquestionable advantage to be studying in the museum school having one of the greatest art collections available to the public as well as the historical artifacts that the museum has on display.

Being surrounded by these artworks and artifacts drove home the ideas put forth by Walter Benjamin in his essays about Aura and Authenticity and that an object can be imprinted or saturated with these qualities.

Through the process of working and reworking, my paintings become in some ways like a palimpsest with colors and previous attempts showing through newer layers as if it were being created and excavated during the same process. It is this method of adding and subtracting that gives my work the quality of something more than the superficial and even while the surface takes on prominence, it is as an after effect or echo of the work taking place.

What I strive for in my paintings is to bring those aforementioned qualities of Aura and Authenticity to life, as it were, and create paintings that believably seem to have their own identity, countenance and at times even to be staring back.


Jeffry Dean

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