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Dean Russo

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My greatest inspirations: art and animals. Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, I am inspired by the urban landscape that surrounds me. It envelops my work, as it represents my life. Painted walls peeling after years of neglect brought to life by murals and graffiti that cogitates my art making process. I’m often inspired by the abandoned and the lost and I can find solace in bringing it to life through my work.

Animals’ expressions allows for endless possibilities. To understand what is behind an animal’s face is a tremendous challenge; a challenge that reflects which colors and design elements to employ. Each piece begins with a bold ink outline. I then focus on the eyes of my subject. The eyes are perhaps the most important element in a piece; they hold every part of the subject’s characteristics. Bold colors juxtaposition with abstract patterns to project the hidden soul of a living species is what compels my work. Portraying the energy and joy that can sometimes be lost in otherwise preconceived notions of the subject is what drives me.

Art that embraces change moves me, it motivates me to create. Through my work, I hope to convey the care and devotion of animal-lovers. Pit Bulls are one of the subjects I’ve focused my work for years, as they are often as misunderstood as the city I call home. In my portraits, my goal is to expose the joy and vibrancy in my subjects, just as street art brings life to cold walls that surround us.

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