"When I grow up I would like to be a artist.
Because I like to droll" – Dean Loucks, age 6
For most of us, there is a clear separation between our work and our passion. For artist Dean Loucks, however, the two have been intrinsically and irrevocably combined, almost since the beginning. “Even if you’re just painting stripes,” he says, “you’re using color. It’s still a painting – still a piece of artwork to me.” It is this inclusive and expansive approach to creation that makes Dean so different, and when his portfolio grew to include gallery art and mixed media sculptures, launching his fine art collection was simply a natural progression.
Walking through the gallery with Dean, it’s easy to forget his celebrity status in the custom painting world. Open and remarkably friendly, Dean would much rather discuss his artistic approach than his artistic achievements. “It could all go away tomorrow,” he says with a shrug. Stopping before the likeness of a 1937 Duesenberg with so much detail you can nearly smell the rubber tires, Dean’s face animates. “I start by laying down some paint.” he says, “Then, I pour on reducer, which causes the colors to shift, to run together, to mottle and speckle and meld.” Dean smiles as he points to the sky above the Duesenberg – a vibrant and fluid shift from burnt orange to gold to oxblood. “The results are unpredictable, which is why each piece is so very unique.”
Dean’s approach, this reverse style of painting, is a technique he’s coined “The Art of Removal,” and is as unconventional as the man, himself. Starting with a horizontal canvas – anything from Masonite board to copper sheeting to reclaimed barn wood – Dean applies layers of color. He then pours on a chemical reducer and, working with his airbrush, a full-sized paint gun, razor blades, tape, cotton rags and even his fingers, coaxes his creation from the void.
With subjects ranging from marine life to antique cars to rescue dogs, Dean’s paintings vibrate with an energy that seems more captured than represented. His art is real, accessible, alive. “Art creates an emotional response,” he says. “I try to do things my own way to capture that.” In an industry often bogged down by rigidity and tradition, Dean’s fresh approach creates a space where art is free and fun, again. His tagline, “Fine Art, Custom Furniture, Just Cool Stuff” says it all. You won’t find boring or stuffy, here. Dean’s art is a celebration – and luckily, it’s one we’re all invited to.
Want to commission Dean for a custom one-of-a-kind piece? Click here.