Conceptual Realism – Dennis Larkins

Dennis Larkins Beginnings

I’m not sure why there is so little written about Dennis. It is known that Mr. Larkins worked for film studios as a set designer, at Walt Disney as an Imagineer, and was also the artist behind so many of the Grateful Dead concert sets.

Early on Mr. Larkins designed and built sets for the San Francisco Opera. He also worked at the Walt Disney Float shop designing and creating floats. He didn’t build them; he designed them. These floats featured heavily at Disneyland as they were paraded down Main Street three to five times a day.

In the 60’s Larkins built stage backdrops for Billy Graham’s “Day on the Green” annual concert series. Apologies, I have tried to find a photo or two of these set pieces with no luck.

This is about the extent of his biographical information. Why so little is written about his beginnings is unknown, but a desire for privacy likely behind all of that.

Material, Medium and Technique

As with his background this is a tough one too. I can’t say I blame Mr. Larkins, his paintings are three dimensional. He does not share quite how he does that and that’s his right. I do know, from reading about past achievements, that he got the effect in the beginning with layer of paint.

Today he already has in mind what the painting will be and creates dimensions with other materials. From what I understand this could be panel or plastic, though these are guesses by art curators and show attendees.

Let him keep his secret. The effect is interesting and unique.