Julian Brown

dwarf-stars-study by Julian Brown

This painting entitled ‘Dwarf Stars’ created by the artist, Julian Brown, intrigues me. I am wondering if this is a colour study referring to the various types of dwarf stars. If I had not looked at the title, the painting would conjure up a landscape in my mind; of interlocking mountains with a sun at the top right.  When I think of dwarf stars, I think about the black dwarf, which is when a star is finally burnt out and becomes a cold rock floating through space. In my pessimistic world, this painting symbolises the end of mankind, the end of earth, as without the sun, we can not survive…. But how can something so sweet and tasty as these paintings mean this………?

I thought I would add an image or two more of Julian Brown’s artwork. Of course you can see even more  at his website:


He has just been selected for the Marmite Prize this year

“The imagery in my work is very heavily influenced by nostalgic visions of the 1980’s and the folk art from my mother Polish heritage. Both of these worlds have a handmade geometric quality that has a playful and primitive relevance to the world we now live in.”

 The ‘clunkiness’  Brown talks about, in his painterly application of  melted sugary colours, remind me of frosting on cakes and not so much ‘an end of the world’ scenario. Thinking more of cakes, Brown’s artwork is reminiscent of Wayne Thiebaud’s paintings. The aesthetic qualities of Brown’s work are not imbued with a weighty content, but more of a delight of colour; held within geometric forms whose configurations create satisfying rhythms that are fresh, light, and flowing. The shapes float in a bright white nowhere land, clustering into a tidy order, clinging together through sticky paint and playfully fragmenting into a light-hearted disorder upon the canvas surface.

temper bend

CANDA- Julian Brown

echo move

The work has an obvious decorative quality. Knowing that he is influenced by Polish folk art, I decided to look at some examples online. The images that I came across, seemed to have a sense of innocence and cheeriness and were a celebration of all colours of the rainbow.


Vinculum is Latin for “bond”, which is the title of the above painting. This title completely changes how I view the work, from something flat in 2-D, it suddenly pops out and becomes an interlocking rope or bandage.

red nose day

buccaneers II

This painting entitled, ‘Buccaneers II’, is interesting. I see it as a herd of deer, probably because of the colours  Brown has utilised and also the sweep of the brush strokes give the work a skittish energy; but is it in fact a historic account of a battle between Portuguese and Spanish ships? When I down loaded this particular image from his website, the image was documented as ‘kindling’ which again shifts the meaning of the work or adds another layer to my battle analogy.

I find the art works by Julian Brown are something to ponder upon. There is this obvious child-like aesthetic; an innocent and playful arrangement of shapes and colour, but then the titles just throw up some unanswered questions. I realise how much of my own history, and memories are projected onto the work and corrupt the most authentic interpretation, which is that of the artists. Or is this what it is all about? How fragments from childhood, traces of folklore and tradition, of artefacts and dialogue can be a flitting presence underpinning the work, but by the most delicate of threads; which of course might dance off again, when the physicality of liquidy and joyous paint take hold!

spoof networks


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