Deon Duncan

Deon Duncan is a rising talent in figurative sculpture, but her work carries with it a gravitas and subtlety informed by two decades of exploration into the uses of art in diverse contexts and media on two continents.

 

Upon receiving a Masters of Fine Art from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Ms. Duncan took her energies and academic training in painting and theory to inner city Chicago to work with “at risk” youth using the creation of large murals as a vehicle for teaching life skills. Five years later, Ms. Duncan took this effort overseas as a member of the Peace Corps to undertake similar public mural projects in South America. For the next decade after her service, she continued this work and also began making art concerned with the intricate plant and animal ecosystems in the jungles in which she lived. As a result, Ms. Duncan was awarded an Earth Watch grant to study in the Pantanal, the world’s largest tropical wetland in West Brazil, and she exhibited and taught environmental art in Ecuador for four years.

 

Ms. Duncan returned to the United States in 2007 prepared to undertake postgraduate study of the environment. Instead, fate intervened and, for the first time as she likes to say, discovered her artmaking voice in one of the very oldest of Western forms: figurative sculpture. Completely overtaken by this discovery, Ms. Duncan holed up in a studio and pushed clay obsessively to educate her eye to the form and structure of the figure. After three years of persistence and frustration, Ms. Duncan submitted “After Botticelli” to the 2011 National Sculpture Society competition. Her entry, a female counterpoint to Botticelli’s 15th century depiction of a feminine ideal in The Birth of Venus, was awarded the bronze medal.

 

Ms. Duncan’s cast figures are made from endless experimentation with a variety of materials and metals. Her painting background is revealed in her sculptures’ patinas which enjoy depth that enhance the visual quality of the pieces and invite the touch. In 2012, another piece, “The Contortionist”, became her second National Sculpture Society competition bronze medal.

 

Figurative sculpture is a long tradition with particular conventions throughout history. Ms. Duncan uses the conventions of a very classical form to talk about very contemporary ideas. Her use of its imagery creates immediate access to fundamental questions of the ideal, of identity, of beauty and its conventions.

Available Work by Deon Duncan

Clay model for bronze, Limited ed. 19
20.5"H x 14"W x 12"D
$6,300 Special precast price...

(2 Views Shown)
Bronze, Limited edition of 19
24"H x 7.5"W x 6"D
$5300...

Limited edition of 19
25"H x 7"W x 6.5"D
clay model for bronze, $4,200...

Bronze, Limited Edition of 9
72” H x 16” L x 15” D...

Bronze, Limited Edition of 19
25" H x 10" W x 10" D
$4600...