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Brown's works are fundamentally a form of New Zealand Expressionism strewn with a vocabulary of symbols in the context of allegory. They carry with them a strength of purpose in the handling of specific subject matter, as Brown focuses on fundamental human concerns, creating poignant social commentary in his works. This 'voice' is clearly expressed in the pointedly political anti-nuclear stance of his contribution to the famous Va'ana peace mural at the corner of Karangahape and Ponsonby Roads in Auckland.
Nigel Brown was born in Invercargill in 1949. He attended Auckland University's Elam School of Fine Arts where he studied under Colin McCahon, Garth Tapper and Robert Ellis, graduating with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in 1972.
As Brown explains of his work, 'I want a human face to my art. Art can be a product of a person in the deepest sense. My concern is with the dilemma of modern existence… the ongoing frailty of humanity's material - moral and spiritual. I use the self and what happens to me as my starting point, but finally the works seek to go beyond that. I am an earthy painter concerned with the "drama" of suburban existence.'