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Justin Kingsley Bean (b. 1985, Detroit, MI) is a painter living and working in Oak Park, Michigan. Justin received his MFA from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia, PA and a BA in Anthropology from the University of Michigan. His paintings are in private collections across the United States and have been exhibited at galleries and venues such as the Esther M. Klein Gallery, Automat Gallery, Urban Outfitters’ corporate headquarters, Whitdel Arts, and the Ann Arbor Art Center. Justin currently has a painting on loan to the United States Embassy in Yaounde, Cameroon through the Art in Embassies program.



My most recent paintings focus on pattern, symmetry, reflection, and repetition. I view my paintings through an anthropological lens, and I find abstract shapes to be carriers of nonlinguistic meaning which operate as visual metaphors for cultural systems and social relations. Thematically I am searching for the cells that connect us as social animals. Ideas about culture, technology, and the concealment of labor through industrial design fascinate me and drive my work. At the outset, I have no initial vision in my mind of final composition or colors, and I begin each piece by sketching onto the blank canvas. Beginning first with a grid drawn in pencil, I arrive at my compositions by adding, subtracting, and/or jostling the initial lattice. I search for forms through a process of revision in the earliest stages of their creation. My color choices are guided by intuition and evolve in their mixing as I gently nudge the central hues in subsequent layers. I consider a painting complete when it appears self-enclosed, as if its compositional elements have snapped into place all at once.

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