Born and raised in Dublin, Ireland, the Painter Derek Behan spent the summers of his youth in Donegal on Ireland’s North Atlantic coast. These early holiday experiences left a deep impression on the artist who has perennially returned to the rugged landscape of Ireland’s west coast as inspiration for his best known works.
Behan attended Dun Laoghaire College of Art (now known as IADT) in the 1990’s, where an emphasis on the rigorous discipline of drawing persisted notwithstanding a heavy institutional bias towards the avant-garde and Conceptual Art. A competent draftsman, Behan honed his skills as a figurative artist during this undergraduate period.
Behan’s work on the figure, and the human face, in particular, culminated in his conceptual piece: The Museum of Dr. Laurence Cobden (1825-1875). The work drew upon the Victorian pseudo-science of Physiognomy which posited the notion that an individual’s character traits could be scientifically determined by obtaining precise measurements of the various facial features. The sophistication and originality of this work ensured that Behan graduated from Dun Laoghaire with Distinction.
Following graduation, Behan left Ireland for Italy where, in the Tuscany region, he obtained employment in the area of building restoration. He later travelled to Serbia where he worked as a language teacher.
After several years travelling abroad, Behan returned to Ireland. Continuing his studies, he attended NUI Maynooth, where he read History and English and graduated with First Class Honours.
Derek Behan now lives and works in Dublin, Ireland. His work can be found in private and institutional collections both nationally and internationally. The artist’s works can only be purchased through his affiliated Galleries. Galleries interested in becoming affiliated with the artist should provide their details via the website.
Gallery Zozimus, 56 Francis St. Dublin
Mill Theatre, Dundrum, Dublin.
Beaufield Mews, Stillorgan, Dublin.
Coastguard cultural centre, Tramore, Co. Waterford.
McGilloway Gallery, Derry-Londonderry.
Cowley Cooper Fine Art, Derry-Londonderry.
Galerija Van Gogh, Novi Sad, Republic of Serbia.