Richter. Stairways to heavens. Kitsch. Reflection.
Childhood. Swing set.
Surreal landscapes play between surface and depth with myriads of facture, blend, and applications. Accretions.
Old TV has given way to cinema and video gaming of all time periods.
So, larger movements; less episodic.
Unabashed juxtapositions of cliche sentimentality and more remote instances of nothingness.
Body. Nature. Connectivity. No head.
Deep space reflects. Shallow is paint material.
Fragments of time and fantasmic fantasy of a more personal nature, subconsciously surreal.
I have been intrigued by La Duke's paintings since the earlier showings at Angles Gallery in Santa Monica within the past ten years. In those earlier ones, while less concerned with content and narrative results as a whole personally, his keen sense of surface as it related to an oblique view of television screens (cathode ray tubes, I want to say) and the reflections thereupon complicating a view like trying to watch TV during the day with the blinds open made a strong case for abstraction as function of depth. There and then, just like in these paintings now also, the shift in viewer perception between the actual program and lighting artifacts on the surface play out in this ever shifting focus between near and far. Not only does this refer to the complications of viewing television in a sunlit room but also to looking at paintings, these paintings AND every series I have viewed of La Duke's. More importantly, it points to a view of space and time and also concrete history (personal, historical, art historical, and beyond). While elements of kitsch might distract as they collide with celebratory imagery (all the holidays at once come to mind), there is something compelling about the interstitial spaces like stacked Gerhard Richter moves, especially when one narrows the focus (see my detail images which I would rather like as individual paintings of their own). There are so many paintings here, pictures within pictures. While in and of itself, that is not much to write home about these days, the facts remain that parts and whole(s) do oscillate by distance, continuously, just as a camera, just as my own eyes, just as watching tv (flat screens now) against daylight, just as history, just as art ALL challenge my ability to assimilate into a substantial view a notion of the present, one that is conflated and perhaps inverted the closer one gets to something, in this case, a painting, a series of paintings, a body of work that insists about time while being out of time.