Mountain Valley, 2012, Oil on Canvas
The substance of painting- ie. form and colour are placed front and center in Vancouver based painter Kristofir Dean’s work. By painting in vivid, opaque stripes of colour Dean does away with notions of representation and places the onus on the colours and their relationships as the sole descriptor and purveyor of subject matter.
Taking cues from post-impressionist theory, Dean explores the possibilities and subtleties of tone and hue in a decidedly unsubtle fashion. Colours on their own are one thing, but when placed next to each other they begin to enter into a dialogue. Yellows, when placed next to purples, and greens next to reds start to shimmer in relation to their counterpart, highlighting the simultaneous harmony and dissonance of opposites. Similarly, the placement of a pink next to a blue or brown beside orange takes on different meanings and associations that become embedded in our subconscious. By bringing this topic to the forefront of his practice, Dean reminds us to be aware of our cognitive and emotional responses to colour and the way it shapes our understanding of the world.