By: Erica M. James, Ph.D. Curator of The National Art Gallery of the Bahamas, 2004

"...Claudette Dean paints from the spirit, what she believes in that moment is true. Though Dean first conceived this show as an opportunity to share her artistic journey through a type of visual autobiography, what has become even more important to her is that audiences realize that for her, and artists like her, art can become a medium in and of itself. The process of art making can initiate a spiritual transformation on the part of the artist, and the potential also exists for this spirit to move in the viewer as they engage the work.

The Rising Sun

This is a philosophy once espoused by artists such as Mark Rothko. As Dean has submerged deeper into her spirit, moving from the works addressing her Canadian heritage such as Lineage to works such a Sorrow, Roots and The Rising Sun, like Rothko she has loosened her imagery to the point where literal representations of figures dissolve into geometry and color. By the time Dean laid her brush down in Multicolored Culture the aim of the artist had moved beyond transformation to transcendence.

In Dean’s work, one clearly sees the influence of Gustave Klimt and Diego Rivera. Klimt and Rivera also studied Byzantine and Gothic art, and the Mexican Rivera was considered a noted Cubist in the early Twentieth Century, working along side the doyen of the movement, Pablo Picasso. By picking up a brush, Dean, like every Bahamian painter, enters into a historical discourse whose roots reach beyond The Bahamas. By studying the work of these artists, Dean brings their history to her work, taking what she needs to shape her vision."

Claudette Dean