Artist Spotlight 2022

Dean Pagano  
By Johnny Otto

Dean lives and works in New York. He studied finance at Mercy College, and alternative investments at the London School of Economics.

At 22 years old, Dean did a complete 180 leaving the corporate world for a completely 'free-from-the-norm' lifestyle.

"I'm hugely driven by the responsibility of being an artist, at its core, constantly striving to exist in this parallel dimension where the universe calls upon me to create something. It's a way of life that often makes you feel like somewhat of an outsider, but it's countered by the ability to share a mutual understanding and admiration with those that feel some emotional or spiritual trigger from my work."

"Well I'm extremely inspired by the greats like Basquiat, Twombly, de Kooning, Picasso... absolutely inspired by my contemporaries as well-- Robert Nava, Wes Lang, Eddie Martinez, Eser Gunduz, many many many more I admire. My main creative inspiration is John Frusciante, the legendary avant-garde guitar player from the Red Hot Chili Peppers. As a devoted guitar player myself, I probably spend as much time playing guitar and recording experimental, melancholic, alternative music as I do making new paintings. I feel the two are so closely related, it's almost the exact same process mentally. With both, you’re just trying to get into a certain mindset where anything you create is in perfect harmony in context with itself. It's almost like being in tune, and playing in the right key, and tempo. There are certain rules that are king in art, and the best artists are able to subtly stretch and break those rules, thus creating art people haven't seen/heard before. All of my inspirations follow this framework to some extent. Going places artists haven't gone before, but still making sense in the context of 'what is good art?'."

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