About the Artist

Joshua Duncan is an active New Orleans based artist. He studied at Memphis College of Art, where he received his Bachelor's Degree in Illustration in 2011. Joshua is inspired by history, especially that of ancient myth and civilizations. Duncan's often pulls from mythological and art history as sources of inspiration. Duncan's work, though ranging in styles and mediums, ultimately wishes to connect the viewer with him/herself and allow for a moment of contemplation.

Contact Info: DuncansArt@gmail.com

Joshua is currently working in three main series that explore different aspects of picture making.


A painting, as an object, has generally three main ingredients: canvas, wood and paint (generally oil). These materials are then used to create an illusion, a flat image creating depth through color. The Dope-Ah-Mean series takes these three basic materials and brings them out instead of hiding them. Each of the materials is then explored through their own inherent properties. The wooden frames are made first then burned and sealed. The series began with a traditional rectangular shape for the frames but as they have progress more of the structural aspect of the frames has become prominent. Strips of raw canvas are then woven across the frame. Embracing the frame but leaving space to engage the wall. The strips are then placed in rain, which beads on the taunt canvas, and then with a butane blow torch, the artist burns over the droplets creating an inverse effect of the rain splatter. This technique is repeated in layers, with dry time in-between burning sessions to create a completely natural texture. The strips of colors come from the excess of the Study series, in which the artist explores the properties of the oils by mixtures of different chemicals. These strips contain many interesting blooms and runs of color that act as spots of accented color against natural tones of the burnt wood and canvas. The most important aspect of these paintings, however, is the way they engage the wall space. Paintings create a window type effect, but by engaging the wall the illusion is broken and becomes objectified. Aesthetically this allows the color of the wall to come through and because the wooden frame is made out of different levels of wood a shadow is created behind the strips. This makes the lighting for the painting very important and creates a relieve affect.


In these studies of non-objective abstract painting I am exploring the nature of oil paint. All paintings are usually made out of, well, paint, but the paint normally represents something else, landscape, figure etc. With these paintings I seek to explore both the chemical nature as well as the physical nature of oil paint itself. I begin by thinning the oil paint into a fluid and then combine different thinners (turpentine, xylene, spirits, etc.) with various oil mediums (linseed oil, walnut oil, alkyds, enamels, etc.) with the paint on to sheets of canvas stretched across various tables. The paint, as a fluid, creates an organic flow across the canvas which I manipulate by controlling the table. I then find a composition and stretch the canvas over a frame and begin to invoke the tactile nature of the oil paint. Creating think impasto marks engaging the nature flow of the oil.

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