Brian Olsen’s Art In Action is an explosion, a colorful display of paint, energy, music and passion.

Performance Painter Brian Olsen Using fingertips, palms, elbows and up to three brushes in each hand, Brian paints portraits of famous people including musicians, sports figures, and top corporate heads on a four and a half by six foot canvas in just a matter of minutes. His creations are choreographed to music that is powerful and stimulates the senses. Brian’s Art in Action is described as “an emotional experience” taking his audience through an amazing journey of excitement, suspense, cheer, and surprise. The term Speed Painter does not do justice to his ability to captivate his audience and share the experience of color, music, and action is a way to bring people into the world of art and creativity. It is a new artform that brings people together to share the explosion of art and stir up the personal creativity we all have within.

Brian began his performance art career in 1998 as the assistant to renowned artist Denny Dent. He studied under Denny as his Tour/Studio Manager and Art Representative for over six years. During this period, Brian learned/practiced the painting techniques and performance style that Denny thrilled audiences with worldwide. Brian Olsen is the one and only protégé of Denny and his art form.

“People are still talking about Brian’s performance at our January AT&T Sales Kick–Off In Atlanta…he was quite a hit!”


“I have always been passionate about art and the energy it can release. My passion for painting, especially the challenge of portraits, grew from varied roots: photography in Hawaii to landscape design in college (of all things). But it was Denny Dent who put it all together for me. He showed me how he used the SHOW part of the performance to drive home the real message of personal creativity, and how to let the music and audience drive the process to the dramatic conclusion.” With Denny’s encouragement and guidance, Brian Olsen launched his own performance career. Brian’s Art in Action is modeled after Denny’s, but the repertoire is more diverse. Brian’s recent work of Jerry Garcia, John Lennon, Marilyn Monroe and John Wayne had audiences “blown away”.

There is a simple message in Brian’s show: Be yourself, be creative, and take chances. You never know what you might discover. But, whatever it is, do it with all your heart.

Art in Action Story

BrianOlsen - Tom Petty

“Everything is possible with creativity” – Brian Olsen

Brian Olsen’s energy is infectious. To witness the explosion of lines, shapes and colors onto the canvas is to experience creativity in its most kinetic form. And it’s most entertaining. But it’s a lot more than just entertainment. It truly is “Art In Action”.

In less than 10 minutes Brian Olsen can turn an oversized canvas into a work of art. And a venue of people into a sea of creative souls.

Using six brushes simultaneously and often just his hands, he’ll paint the perfect likeness of famous musicians, sports legends, iconic movie stars and historic figures. Portraits that capture the colorful personalities behind the faces.

Meanwhile, he engages the audience in the creative process. Inspiring them to let go. To take chances. And to be creative themselves.

Brian had always been passionate about art. And the energy released during the creation of art. His experiences in photography and landscape design were just a couple of stops along the road before Denny Dent helped him find his calling.

Now, demand for Brian’s unique skill takes him all over the world. From West Coast to East Coast. And from Western Europe to the Middle East.

For a truly inspirational presentation (your next corporate event, sales meeting or festival) it takes the truly inspiring performance of Brian Olsen.

“If you are considering using Brian for an event, ACT QUICK! He will bring you more than 100% results and people will be talking for months afterwards.”

-Hope Heart

Training with Denny Dent

Denny Dent, Brian's MentorBrian Olsen and Denny Dent show us that creativity is a process.

Denny Dent Performance PainterIn the 1980’s, Denny Dent invented a new form of performance-based art. No fancy props were needed. Nor was the pretense of knowing anything about art. Just an over-sized canvas, a half-dozen buckets of brightly colored paint, loud music and the rest was pure Denny Dent. The art world took notice. And for over two decades, audiences couldn’t look away.

His portraits of famous people, sports icons and historic figures captured the imagination of the art world. The efficiency with which he could fill a canvas was something no one had ever seen before. And, after Dent’s untimely death in 2004, something they thought they’d never see again.

Enter Brian Olsen, Denny Dent’s solitary protégé. Brian already had a knack for art. He had several stops along the way in other creative fields before meeting Dent. But it was Dent who helped him find his true calling. The talent was already there. Dent just helped bring it out.

There were struggles and challenges throughout the apprenticeship. But ultimately, Brian became, perhaps, Dent’s greatest work. Ensuring Dent’s legacy lives on beyond the thousands of paintings. And instead, the creative process, the showmanship and sheer entertainment value, continues to bring joy to new generations of audiences.

Now Brian performs around the world. Sharing what he’s learned. Teaching the value of creativity in the process of his performances. And he’s broken out, becoming a master in his own right.

On July 4th, 2004, Brian Olsen paid tribute to his mentor Denny Dent with a performance that would have made his master proud. Tears and cheers greeted the creation of the Dent’s portrait by his only student. Brian Olsen, meanwhile paid the greatest compliment possible to Dent. By humbly, respectfully and expertly walking in his footsteps.

Brian Olsen and Denny Dent show us that creativity is a process. The final result is a painting but the lessons happen along the way. Visit to learn more.


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Performance Artist Brian Olsen - Art in Action