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.