Dean Monogenis


presented by Walter Maciel Gallery

Born 1973 in New York, NY, USA


Through my work I explore situational relationships of otherwise incongruous elements. An example would be a high rise at the foot of a glorious mountain, or a “new construction” condo spawning out of an isolated field of vegetation. I paint these settings as utopias or fantasy environments. Noticeably, the more I scour the internet or document my travels for source material, the more I find that some of these imagined scenarios already exist. In such cases, my work becomes a commentary on globalization or expansion, which are inevitable. While this may be true, I am not making an indictment. Instead, I am more interested in exploring the awkward beauty inherent in development and decay.

The concept of transformation -- in theory and practice -- has a firm place in my painting. Though my work looks highly rendered, I employ an active process of editing. Normally, I paint on wood or plastic panels employing customized stencils. Utilizing the dialogue established between different painting techniques, these stencil-applied graphic elements are integrated with areas that I paint freehand. Line, edge, and texture are very important to me as well. To accentuate these formal concerns I often paint things like the sky last, which creates a shallow, imbedded quality to the painted imagery underneath. The effect works to maximize the visual tension on the painted surface, challenging the logic of what naturally should be in front and behind. As the picture develops there inevitably comes a point for revision, that I achieve by sanding and reworking areas to bring them back to a zero state. This ability to erase allows me to maintain precision without forfeiting spontaneity and improvisation.

Dean Monogenis, The Nearest Faraway Place, 2011, acrylic on wood panel, 60 x 72 inches
Dean Monogenis, The Sea’s Between Us, 2011, acrylic on wood panel, 40 x 50 inches
Dean Monogenis, Wone Year, 2011, acrylic on wood panel, 36 x 48 inches
Dean Monogenis, Two Cypress, 2011, acrylic on wood panel, 36 x 48 inches