Sunday, July 17, 2011

Shoutout Sunday: Jane Duncan

Today I'll be talking about another artist whose work I saw at the Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition: Jane Duncan.

As soon as I walked into Duncan's booth I was mesmerized by her big paintings of trophies (check out the series yourself by clicking the "Trophy Lovers" link on her website!).  The trophy figures are depicted in ironic and sometimes hilarious configurations, but to be honest at the time I was too mesmerized by the technical prowess displayed in the paintings to fully perceive their content.

Duncan's trophy paintings put me into a full-on "OOOH SHINY" trance - even though they are not actually shiny.  Her painterly rendering of metal is just that good.  And I really want to know how she gets her colours to sizzle like that!  The paintings have a searing, radiant glow that I wouldn't have thought possible - and I say this as someone intimately familiar with fluorescent paint, metallic paint, and glitter. 

Now that I'm at home on my laptop and not distracted by OMG big bright shiny painting in the sun OMG, I'm able to appreciate the trophy paintings for their subject matter, too (two golden figurines doin' it missionary style!  A golden lady with her golden dog!).  I'm also able to tear myself away from the shiny and check out Duncan's other series, Foes and Follies.  These are beautifully rendered depictions of children's toys, set up in tableaux as though children had just finished (or started?) playing with them.  Why did these hypothetical children arrange the toys like that?  What kind of game were they playing, and why did they stop playing it?  That's up to the viewer to decide.

Jane Duncan's website is here if you'd like to see pictures of her work or find out where to see it in person...and if you like what you see but don't have the budget to buy an original painting, you can buy one of her art books here or here!

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