Tom LaDuke Packs Four Paintings Into One


At first glance the paintings of Tom LaDuke may look like simple abstractions but as you walk closer you start to see a second and then a third image emerge from the background.

Holly Myers from the LA Times  Describes Tom’s painstaking process:

“Paintings from an ongoing series involves the application of four exhausting layers per canvas: first “an inchoate space,” as he calls it — “not bright or dim, not shallow or deep” — intended to mimic a blank television screen; then a film still, rendered precisely as it appeared on a television in his studio; then the reflection caught on the surface of that screen; then a splintered layer of thick, gestural oil paint made with a stencil derived from a historical painting that relates in some way to the film still. The underlayers — all airbrush — are soft, gray, smooth and ghostly, whereas the oil paint is chunky, brightly colored and seemingly haphazard, with only the slimmest hints at imagery. The effect is that of two entirely different paintings that just happened to brush against each other while wet.


Tom LaDuke


I had only one class with Tom LaDuke, but he became was of my most beneficial and most enjoyed professors. Much like his work, Tom is very perceptive; I always felt he was a few steps ahead of us. He inspired many of us to notice aesthetic details, a more clever title, a deeper level of thought – just something more than where our minds stopped at.

Even outside of class, Tom is still encouraging me to be better through his work. He works with challenging mediums, such as, sculpting with graphite, pencil leads, fingernails, eyelashes, and other fragile or unorthodox materials. He is always up to something. You notice this when you start seeing the different layers he puts into all his work, most notably his recent series of paintings where you become very aware of your process of perceiving images.

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