Metalheads: The Tin Can Art of Brian Despain

Writer Philip Dick once asked, “Do androids dream of electric sheep?” In the humorous artwork of Brian Despain, robots not only dream, but also live in a melancholy world somewhere between man and machine.

From an early age Despain has had a fascination with androids, and they’ve become a primary focus of his paintings. Despain works with imaginary yet recognizable modern landscapes populated with seemingly self-aware and melancholy robots. His work blends the natural world with technology that has a slightly morbid slant. Skulls, machinery, birds and marine animals provide the forefront for a seemingly arcane number system Despain employs in all his work. He uses a rich and luminous color palette of post apocalyptic ochres, deep blues, and steel grays to slyly portray a hidden warmth and dark humor within his work.

Though he’s experimented and worked in all sorts of mediums, his favorites are digital and oils. Brian also spends a fair bit of his time making and texturing 3D models. His professional career has spanned over 21 years and has seen him doing every kind of art, from graphic design, illustration for books and magazine, to a long stint designing and creating video games. Recently Brian left the 9 to 5 world to focus on a fine art career, drawing, painting and sculpting the stories in his head.

“It was the time I spent, like the kid at the kitchen table, creating art for no other reason than sheer wonder of it all, that I was happiest. No matter the piece or the end result it’s the art that we do for ourselves that wholly reflects us as people. It is that art which is purest, it is that art which holds the most magic, it is that art which connects on the deepest level…”

“I love art,” he has said. “I love looking at it, I love talking about it and I certainly love making it, so it’s really no surprise that art would be my chosen profession.”

Ladies and gentlemen, say hello to the weird, wonderful art of Brian Despain.

About Stephen Kelly Creative

Hi, I'm Stephen Kelly, a writer, editor, photographer and graphic designer living in beautiful San Francisco, CA, USA. Amongst the things I love are writing, photography, movies, music, fitness, travel, Batman, all things Australian, food and fun, all of which I hope to reflect in this here blog. Welcome aboard ... now let's get busy!
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20 Responses to Metalheads: The Tin Can Art of Brian Despain

  1. petit4chocolatier says:

    Love it! I have seen The Guardian and The Stranger before. I love the weird art : )

  2. Betty Kelly says:

    Another job well done!!!

  3. A tin beauty! You are full of interesting extravagant artistic suggestions! Love it! 🙂

  4. viveka says:

    Amazing art …. you have some eye for art too … as you say here – wonderful and wired – my favorite is “A Simple Audience” – wouldn’t owning that piece. Thank you so much for sharing with me.

  5. As a collection, this seems like a really fine set of art works. I just wonder if “The Deference Engine” isn’t a reference to “The Wizard of Oz”–you know, the tin man sings “If I only had a heart.” Now I’m wondering how many other clues and allusions I might be missing in Despain’s works.

  6. Andrew says:

    So awesome.

  7. kz says:

    they’re all so amazing… im glad i followed your blog. otherwise, i’d never have known of this

  8. ilargia64 says:

    Hi Stephen!!! It is great….And any further clue about the meaning of the numbers?
    I like a lot of them, but I do not why, “They talked of Tin” touched me…It remains me of “The thinker”, by Rodin…And the landscape is very similar to Capadocia, in Turkie…

  9. Madhu says:

    These are wonderful! Thank you for introducing us to yet another amazing artist Stephen.

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