Exploring the world opened up by a work of art
This week’s showcase:
“The Builder Removed”
Acrylic, ink, screws, and polyurethane on sheetrock with aluminum frame, 23.5″ x 16″, 2008
Patrick Duegaw’s 2008 self portrait “The Builder Removed,” is oddly prophetic, revealing just how ahead of his time he really was, and really is (mask and goggles to boot). Long before masks became the symbol of our time, Patrick Duegaw captured the crux of today’s zeitgeist: Anxiety. Hesitation . . .
Patrick worries, as all notable artists do. He is an artist/introspector extraordinaire, arbiter of self knowledge and self doubt, with an acute hyper-awareness of his own foibles and idiosyncrasies . . . All candidly put on display for us to see with an unflinching gaze.
Whenever I see Duegaw’s work, I feel self-conscious. Exposed. Vulnerable. As if I see too much. The intense scrutiny of recognition is altogether riveting and unsettling. I’m drawn in by the familiar “Rockwellian” old-world charm, replete with nostalgia and whimsy, and then surprised by the “take no prisoners” modern confrontation of the truth, no matter what it is.
His choice of materials is equally jarring and unforgettable; An old paint-chipped door, and meticulously constructed pieces of cut and screwed sheetrock — all found materials from home. His portrait, part ink drawing, part acrylic painting, is scrupulously rendered in hair-splitting detail with a shadowy doppelgänger, rife with hidden thoughts and personas.
He’s the builder. He’s the artist. He’s the genius . . . but removed.
“Know Thy Self” — Blessing or Curse?
Sometimes being trapped in one’s head is its own form of Isolation — Sometimes it’s the only safe place left to be.