“I Am Not From This Planet”, presented at The Baton Rouge Gallery, February 2018
Most of the pieces in this show are square or nearly so. A horizontal rectangle implicitly suggests a landscape, and vertical rectangle suggests a figure or a face. The process is unconscious.
A square suggests the four primary directions of the compass and the four elements proposed by Greek philosophers. In ancient China, a square symbolized the earth. A square suggests the four sides of a room and by extension the entirety of the universe. The square field in the game “Pac-Man” expands in time and even suggests infinite space: “Pac-Man”’s every exit is an instant return to the square.
A square frame is a geometrically pure window through which free minds can project and receive entirely objective metaphors of the Earth, the universe and everything, as if crystallized but flickering in time, at any rate and at any scale. We see it all.
What? Who sees it all? And who writes this crap? Cosmic objectivity, or whatever you call it, is baby talk. It’s babble. It’s impossible! And yet…here it is. The art is real, and the achievement is immense. Because every artist is a sort of God, and I am not from this planet.
Paul Dean is a member of the Baton Rouge Gallery, where he has been exhibiting regularly for nearly 25 years. He is an Associate Professor at Louisiana State University’s College of Art And Design, where he teaches typography, color in art and design, and art and design in general. He holds a master’s degree from North Carolina State University’s School of Design, but still vividly recalls Mabel Bullock, who inspired confidence and an unending desire to make art during Paul’s last semester of high school.
The artists who continue to inspire him include Hieronymous Bosch, Robert Rauschenberg, Corita Kent, Romare Bearden and César Aira. Paul has work in the collections of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the New Orleans Museum of Art, but he still believes in taking it to the street.