Artist Portfolio Magazine’s 20 Art Competition
Patrick Dejuilio – Berwyn, IL
Chicago-born artist Patrick DeJuilio depicts aged structures and utilitarian objects in his evocative, three-dimensional wall pieces. He adeptly combines architectural millwork and furniture manufacturing scraps, with found objects, plaster, and paint to create unique, representational snapshots in time. The mood of each project is transformed as the curious angles, ragged edges and recesses maximize the effects of shifting ambient light. Patrick uses unexpected vantage points, a multitude of surface styles, and subtle clues in his work to suggest what is absent – a human subject. Doors, windows, blind corners, and broken walls invite the viewer to “step into” the work and create a story based on their own experience.
Patrick DeJuilio’s work is inspired by the rich architectural heritage of the Midwest, experiences in the Great Lakes Region, and his travels abroad. He pursued a multidisciplinary arts education and earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree at Western Illinois University. Patrick was tutored in stained-glass techniques soon after. He honed his woodworking and carpentry expertise as a builder and furniture craftsman, while completing stained-glass commissions in his studio and teaching classes on the subject to adult learners. In 2003, his manual dexterity was compromised by nerve damage in his hand, ending his work with glass. His diligent search for a new creative outlet resulted in his current body of work.
Artist Statement I am most content while I work in my studio, listening to background music. My work challenges and motivates me because each piece requires multiple stages and skill sets to complete. By manipulating everyday materials, I am able to depict familiar subjects in unexpected ways. My ultimate satisfaction comes when an audience has differing emotional responses as they view a completed project.
Using discarded materials as my primary medium my palette is limited only by my imagination. By breaking, tearing, splitting, reversing or otherwise manipulating recyclables, I discover new textural, visual and structural traits. This inspires a new use, and at times, a new project. Cardboard becomes roofing tiles. Particleboard and fiberboard become brick and stone. Alternately, I search for and render these materials to suit a specific project I am planning. In either case, I layer these items on my “canvas”, along with plaster and paint, to create my final product.
Doors, windows and other architectural elements seem to be the dominate theme. Their weathered details tell a story; their mystery invites new stories to be told. I include no human subjects in my work; instead, the viewer is the human component. My hope is that each viewer’s memories of past events will shape distinct and differing emotions as they view the same piece.
The process is rather complex. I use a variety of approaches to achieve the desired result: “corners” that project out from the wall, “flat” pieces that incorporate trompe-l’oeil elements, and “flat” pieces with sections that recede into the wall. The effect that the changing direction and intensity of ambient light on the 3-D surfaces during the day is an additional interesting element.