julian brown

Born in 1974 from Dorset now works and lives in London



Trained at The Royal Academy Schools, Liverpool John Moores University & Bournemouth & Poole college of Art & Design

Recently selected for the Marmite Painting Prize and Emergancy5 2012 shows also include The Royal Academy Main Galleries, Royal Academy Sackler Gallery & Schools,The Angus Hughes Gallery London,The Aspex Gallery Portsmouth, Foster Art London, The Big Egg Hunt and the Paton Gallery London

Awards Include British Academy, Debenhams travel bursary


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.

I try to explore this ‘clunkiness’ with tactile images that sit somewhere between order and chaos, structure and collapse, expression and control. While the underpinning of the process is held together by predetermined structures, the freewheeling application is purposely engaging and ambivalent to the expressive urge to dictate the 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."

Noa Edwards Art&Exhibit

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!

Noa Edwards Art&Exhibit


Posted on November 17, 2011 by Markus Lloyd

The following is a blah – meaning it isn’t an essay, it’s a riff – I mean all of it, but that doesn’t mean its definitive – it’s really chasing a bee, one idea, to see if it has legs – it is in no terms a critical appraisal of the art or artists in the Emergency5 exhibition – it is a mode of thinking – it is a leg in a journey of appreciation and understanding of the art in the show – this is a single facet of a many-many sided form
Zeitgeist. Processing the hundreds of applications to Emergency is a whizz through a burgeoning scene. It doesn’t signify ‘now’ – because the applicants we attract consider themselves emerging [hey! now you get the title], meaning they’re recent graduates, post-graduates or inside that bubble before a significant solo show. ‘Now’ is the domain of the broken through (that become the broken, as horses are broken – that leads them into the knacker’s yard, of some celebrity, perhaps, where they are glue). It’s a cynical allusion, but the Arts are a stampede, an endless ongoing. In fact, ‘now’ is only a photo of a blur of motion. Our minds will stillness, an explicable frame of events. Zeitgeist. Emergency 5 is a polaroid of what might be/is happen/ing next. To be fair, to those who weren’t selected, there could’ve been three or more versions of the exhibition, each with different artists – and those shows would’ve demonstrated an alternative facet of… of just about to… So, getting to the point, what does this actual Emergency5 lay bare?
Empiricism? I think so. Empiricism is the usual impetus of untutored artists (born of childhood, of touchy-feelie reaction to stuff, to believing what we feel – physically and emotionally – to be a true and explicit explanation of who, what and where we are). I’m not saying any of the Emergency5 exhibitors are untutored artists, I’m saying it’s because they are both trained and talented that the evident empiricism in most of the work is notable.
It might seem most demonstrable in the ‘stripped’ mirrors  of Dan Coopey – because they’ve a quality of Abstract Expressionism, nodding to Robert Motherwell, and the fact they revel in the material of their making. You might even propose the schismatic views that the mirror grouping reflect analogous with an empiric outlook, but I don’t – not fully. There’s too much of ‘drawing’ in the work – though Dan told me the process of removing the silvering from the mirror back was not overly considered, because of the manner of that removal, painter strippers and 0000 wire wool – Untitled (Stutter) is observational, depicting the occurrence of mirrors in an urban environment. They are the ricochet of viewpoints that bombard you in upmarket shopping centres, nightclubs, and anywhere wanting to earmark ‘glamour’ as its metatag. Recent and various 1980s-centric fashions in music, in graphics, in visual art and in fashion, have used the cheap brilliance and vanity inherent in mirrors (and shiny surfaces) as a cornerstone. Dan’s mirrors are also the vandalised, the derelict, the shabbiness of urban streets – they’re the true leftovers of the 1980s of steel and glass – they’re bus stations, redundant shopping precincts, what cheap glamour becomes, tinfoil. They’re rainwater on asphalt. They are endless compositions of shifting perspectives. Coopey’s work in Emergency5 becomes empiric through our reading, only partly in its making, in Dan’s eye for a visual poem.