Friday, February 7, 2014
At I.O. Metro, one of the most exciting parts of working to enhance our customers lives through style and design is shining a light on the works of the great artists we meet in our communities. The passion and energy they put into their works is infectious, and we fell compelled to share their talents through our Local Art Program. Since their art is so inspiring to us, we were curious to find out what inspires them.
One of several of the Local Art participants we are crazy about is Fayetteville, AR native Duane Gardner. His thoughtful, soft-spoken manner belies an energetic and rebellious streak that is apparent in his work. His fluid and dynamic brushstrokes and startling juxtapositions of text jump off the canvas.
When asked about his inspirations, Duane eagerly mentions the abstract expressionists. “The drips man! They were literally called ‘action’ painters.” That uninhibited, punk rock spirit strongly informs Duane’s work. One abstract expressionist that Duane cites in particular is Cy Twombly. “He was way underappreciated for most of his life, but he is awesome." Like Twombly, Duane prefers to paint on large canvases. His goal is large-scale works that feel consuming and create a world for the viewer to explore. Duane also sights Jean Michel Basqiuat and Robert Motherwell as influences.
|Duane Gardner - "The Street"|
|Cy Twobly - "Leda and the Swan"|
Duane has a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts from the University of North Texas, School of Visual Arts. At the University of North Texas, Duane was one of two nominees, nominated by faculty, for the Yale at Norfolk Fellowship program. He also had two drawings selected to participate in the Arkansas “Small Works on Paper” traveling exhibition in 2010.
“I have been drawing and painting for as long as I can remember.” Duane is inspired by the Abstract Expressionist of the 1950’s, as well as current abstract artists. “Painting for me is about allowing the history of the piece to show as I am creating it. I am continually editing the piece, adding and subtracting paint, lines, shapes, as I am working on it.”