Featured Artist | Duke Windsor

Duke Windsor
La Mesa, CA

Mt. Helix artist Duke Windsor served in the U.S. Marine Corps as a combat illustrator and drill instructor. Windsor’s Golden Skies Series, Balboa Park works, and his new Burger Series, have been exhibited and received awards at juried exhibitions, group shows, and corporate venues across the country, and they are held in many private collections throughout the U.S. and Europe.

Windsor is an Associate Artist member of the California Art Club, Oil Painters of America, International Acrylic Painters Association, San Diego Watercolor Society, and Foothills Art Association. Windsor is former Education Chair of the San Diego Museum of Art Artist Guild and has also served as a member of the Public Arts Selection Committee of the San Diego Regional Airport Authority Art Program. With over 15 years of museum exhibit design experience, Windsor has juried many local and regional art exhibitions as well.

Windsor’s art studio is located at his Mt.Helix, California home since 2015.

Nothings Impossible
Solo Exhibition
Duke Windsor

This exhibit explores the allure of the ubiquitous hamburger.
A simple meal whose exact origin is unknown. It is the early 1900’s, and some say the founder of White Castle developed the “Hamburger Sandwich and others say a cook from a small town in Texas placed a Hamburg steak between two slices of bread and created an instant meal to be carried out by a guest that was in a hurry and could not sit to eat. Mainly developed for the working class and middle class, and with the demand for a “Fast Food,” a worker can grab and go. Today the hamburger is a standard, everyday dish and is a product that is affordable and easily consumed.

What do Warhol, Van Dijck, Van Gogh, Louise Moillon, and Cezanne have in common as artists? They each have created spectacular still-life masterpieces with food as the subject. In this form of still life painting, food painting gave us more opportunities to understand the cultural lifestyles of the past. From ancient Egyptians, carving depictions of crops and bread to hyper-realistic grapes painted by Dutch masters, food, and art have a long and time-honored tradition.

During a painting class, a student asked about how to set up a still life. In viewing examples of some masters’ works, the class noticed that all ingredients were the same today, as was in the past. The scene on the table would be complex and depict a bottle of milk, wheat stalks, salt block, eggs, bowls, utensils, a whisk, a slab of freshly butchered beef, a grinder, lettuce, tomatoes (still on the vine), onions and possible probably a carafe of wine. I wanted to explore our own modern culinary choice in a modern way for everyone to relate to.

I chose to use gold leaf (gilding techniques) after seeing the biopic film, Klimt. In the movie, Klimt (John Malkovich) is working on the “Adele Bloch-Bauer” portrait, and in the scene, he was applying gold leaf on the painting, which piqued my interest. Later while visiting the Timken Museum in Balboa Park, I viewed Russian Icons on wood panels. The reverence and visceral experience I felt from the luminance of these traditional Icon works inspired me to recreate this feeling in my career.

Although I continue to develop gilding techniques, I often refer back to these works for inspiration. Unfortunately, in the art world, gilding techniques are considered merely decorative art. I hope my work will convey what I see the view can see the spiritual radiance. Also, to finish this icon of the American taste, I felt gold leaf was an appropriate tribute to this American food Icon–the delectable burger.

When the viewer looks closely at these images, all of these ingredients are still there. Whether a meat-lover or not of this all- American cuisine, to “taste” mentally and let one’s imagination carry them. Can you smell that?

“Nothings Impossible,” explores our own modern culinary choice—a handheld “Babette’s Feast” of pleasure. The narrative is not about separating these ingredients; it is about the anticipation of the senses and the need for the ultimate moment during the explosion of flavor from the first bite.

Can a simple selection of paint be applied to the canvas causing the desire for more? Can the viewer “taste and smell” with their eyes? Again, it is a visual primer to the senses. It is the anticipation of the first bite from my pallet to yours.

Do you want fries with that?

An American Icon | Acrylic & imt. gold leaf on canvas | 24 x 48 in. (60.96 x 121.92 cm)
An American Icon | Acrylic & imt. gold leaf on canvas | 24 x 48 in. (60.96 x 121.92 cm)
Two All-Beef Patties... | Acrylic & imt. gold leaf on board | 19 x 19 in. (48.26 x 48/26 cm)
Two All-Beef Patties… | Acrylic & imt. gold leaf on board | 19 x 19 in. (48.26 x 48/26 cm)
Say Cheese! | Oil & imt. gold leaf on canvas | 24 x 30 in. (60.96 x 76.2 cm)
Say Cheese! | Oil & imt. gold leaf on canvas | 24 x 30 in. (60.96 x 76.2 cm)
Where's the Beef? | Acrylic & imt. gold leaf on board | 14 x 14 in. (35.56 x 35.56 cm)
Where’s the Beef? | Acrylic & imt. gold leaf on board | 14 x 14 in. (35.56 x 35.56 cm)