Shocking and provocative are two words that instantly come to mind when looking at these Dean McDowell paintings. After all, it's not a daily occurrence that you see porcelain-skinned women looking as though they just partook in vicious brawls, leaving themselves bloodied and bruised.
But even though viewers are looking at Dean McDowell's subjects when they're at their low, the mesmerizing beauty of each battered lady comes through. It's pretty evident that McDowell's subjects would be "bonafide stunners" if they weren't covered in blood smears, but to see them portrayed in this manner only serves to captivate viewers' attention and imagination even more so than if they weren't.
I think my favorite aspect of these Dean McDowell paintings is that they never cross into vampire or harlequin territory despite having many similar aesthetics. McDowell's work is truly in a class of its own.