Artist S.K. Duff has come to be known for gritty exhibitions such as his “Pink Triangle: Not Forgotten” at Franklin Furnace or his introspective exhibitions of abstracts at the Carlo Lamagna Gallery (NYC) among others. However, with this new body of work featured at the Barsky Gallery, he makes a departure into uncharted territory reflecting upon the imagery of the outsider. His show “Inside:R:Out” opens on March 1st and runs through March 23rd, 2014 with an opening reception from 6 to 8 PM at the gallery located @ 49 Harrison St / Hoboken, NJ 07030.
In recent years Duff’s work has been driven by the imagery of the outsider, especially after a pilgrimage as a Geraldine R. Dodge fellow to witness outsider and folk art firsthand. Duff says “I am a person that appreciates folk and ethnographic art – someone who delights in colorful people with eccentric personalities who live lives of honesty, charm and complication. My current images are rendered in a stylistic approach derived from the outsiders that I adore; and represent the roads I have traveled to see and understand the “crossroads” experiences that have provoked their art-making (and now mine). In a sense I have made myself an honorary outsider.”
However, currently, his greatest influence are the artworks of children (outsiders in their own right), particularly the young children he has taught over the years at the Visual Arts Center of New Jersey Center in Summit, Saint Ann’s School in Brooklyn, and currently at the Hoboken Charter School. His earlier works were very introspective and often times strangely narrative while abstract in nature -- for this curious approach, he was selected for the famed “Collector’s Choice” exhibition at the Center for the Arts in Vero Beach where his pieces hung between those of Matisse and Picasso. …AND while his new body of work remains curiously narrative, it is no longer exclusively abstract, but makes nods to the figurative and representational styles of the outsider artists he admires and the children’s art he delights in. Thus, these new mixed media works contain imagery in a lyrical style reflective of the art of children and folk artists.
As an arts educator, Duff was named one of the top 100 teachers in America via the Walt Disney HAND Awards for creative teaching and is currently ranked as the #2 overall teacher in America by the P. Buckley Moss Foundation for Children’s Education. He was also an American Stars of Teaching finalist, and a finalist for the Kind Teacher Award via the ASPCA for creating courses that advocate animal stewardship via art. Last year Duff received two more accolades as he was named the first “Water Warrior” by H20 for Life for tackling the global crisis with his art students and a National Innovation in Education Award winner by PBS for teaching multiculturalism via art.
The Barsky Gallery is strongly invested in the local arts scene, bringing together U.S. contemporary art with curated works from international artists. The Gallery is dedicated to showcasing the diversity of talent within the local community, while reaching out towards exceptional artists on the international scene. SK Duff's exhibit runs through March 16th and more information can be found at Barsky Gallery’s Facebook page.