Dean has recently completed his PhD at Central St Martins. His doctoral thesis “Flawed Masculinities: "Rupturing" 1950s/60s/70s British Sitcom via a Performance-led Interdisciplinary Arts Practice” was supervised by Professor Roger Sabin, Reader Susan Trangmar and Jane Gibb at Central St Martins, and was successfully examined by Dr. Simon Grennan (University of Chester) and Professor Caroline Evans (Central St Martins).
Born in 1973 in the Great Barr suburb of Birmingham, his formative years coincided with the “golden age” of the sit-com and an opportunity to view repeated episodes of comedies such as “Hancock's Half Hour”, “Steptoe & Son” and “Whatever Happened To The Likely Lads?”. As one of the second city’s most celebrated comedy icons the character of Hancock helped shape Dean’s experiences and at a relatively early age he developed an interest in British comedy. This lead onto a growing interest in British Comedians such as Les Dawson, Tommy Cooper and Frankie Howerd.
In 1997 Dean graduated from the University of Wolverhampton with a First Class Honours Degree in Photography. Following a period of time successfully pursuing a career as a lecturer within art & design he consolidated his practical experiences by completing a Masters degree in Fine Art at Staffordshire University in 2006. It is within his PhD research project that Dean has undertaken a more autobiographical approach to the inception of projects and has returned to the themes of comedy that were so prevalent in shaping him during his formative years.
Having shown work at a variety of locations throughout the UK, Dean has secured solo exhibitions at the Ikon Gallery in Birmingham and was also commissioned to produce new work for the international video art exhibition alongside artists such as Gillian Wearing, Cornelia Parker and Beat Streuli for About Town in conjunction with Birmingham Hippodrome Plus and Ikon. He has also presented work on Hancock’s Half Hour and Steptoe and Son as part of the With Humorous Intent Symposium at the Mostyn Oriel Gallery in Llandudno and the annual British Comedy Conference at Manchester Metropolitan University. Dean has also been featured in Re-framing Photography and a recent edition of the Comedy Studies Journal.
He is currently Artist in Residence at the Birmingham & Midland Institute. The new work continues his interest in performance and comedy with recent developments leading toward practical investigations surrounding Slapstick, Comedy & Pain.