Now Exclusively Representing Duke Windsor in Southern CA
We are pleased to share good news this month at Sparks Gallery. San Diego artist Duke Windsor has joined Sparks Gallery’s roster of distinguished represented artists. We welcome this opportunity to continue to showcase Windsor’s work as his exclusive representative in Southern California. Many may remember his recent “Golden Skies” solo show at the gallery and read a write up of his work in our local SD-UT.
From his elegantly executed gold leaf-embellished paintings to his abstract sculptures and mixed media works, we appreciate Windsor’s full range of talent. He imbues his works with qualities that allow for quiet contemplation and reverence, while also bringing to mind themes of identity, history and home. We are looking forward to showcasing his future series, currently in progress.
Windsor has also taught educational classes at the gallery, such as “Introduction to Gold Leaf Techniques”, and we hope to have more classes in the future following the COVID-19 restrictions.
|Duke Windsor was born in Texarkana, Texas and served in the U.S. Marine Corps as a radio operator, combat illustrator and drill instructor. After leaving the service, Windsor was a freelance illustrator and amateur rodeo cowboy, competing in bull-riding, bareback and steer wrestling events. He subsequently studied classical voice at San Diego State University and performed professionally with the San Diego Opera Chorus. Windsor holds the rank of 4th Degree Black Belt in Kempo martial arts, and he continues to be an active singer-songwriter, guitar player and solo performer.|
Windsor has over 15 years of museum exhibition design and installation experience; he has worked for the San Diego Museum of Art, the San Diego Museum of Man, the San Diego Natural History Museum, the San Diego History Center and Mingei International Museum. Windsor served for seven years as founding Director of Exhibits at the USS Midway Museum. Currently, Windsor is CAD Design Engineering Manager at Full Swing Golf Simulators, headquartered in Carlsbad, California.
Windsor is an Associate Artist of the California Art Club, and a former board member with A.R.T.S., A Reason to Survive, which empowers at-risk youth through the arts. He is also former Education Chair of the San Diego Museum of Art Artist Guild. Windsor has also served as a member of the Public Arts Selection Committee for the San Diego Regional Airport Authority Art Program.
Windsor has taught art at many venues including the San Diego Museum of Art and the Athenaeum, and he is currently an instructor of drawing and painting at Art on 30th Street; he also offers a wide range of artist development workshops throughout San Diego County. Windsor’s award-winning paintings have been exhibited at juried solo shows, festivals, group exhibitions and corporate venues in San Diego, Southern California and throughout the U.S., and they are held in private collections throughout the U.S. and Europe. He has also produced portrait commissions and military historical works. Windsor works in various media including pastel, oil, acrylic, watercolor and block print, and his artistic scope ranges from plein air to abstract.
|From the Artist:|
GOLD is the color of extravagance, wealth, riches, and excess, and shares several of the same attributes of the color yellow. The color gold is a warm color that can be either bright and cheerful or somber and traditional. Its cousins, the color yellow and the color brown, are also associated with illumination, love, compassion, courage, passion, magic, and wisdom. In Art, the Golden Mean or Golden Ratio is the theory that all of the natural world has a perfect symmetry by divine design.
Gold is attributed to the spiritual reverence held of ancient gods in worship. The Golden Rule in the Old Testament refers to the high standard of treating everyone equally. Gold is a symbol of divinity and is mentioned throughout the Bible. Pagan idols were often made from gold, and the Ark of the Covenant was overlaid with gold. The gift of gold to the Christ child was symbolic of his divinity – God in the flesh.
Many art masters have influenced me. In 1999, I began working for the San Diego Museum of Art as a gallery preparator. While there, I was exposed to original works by Goya, Rembrandt, Eastman Johnson, Eisenstadt, Moran, Monet, and De Kooning, and I had the opportunity to experience the drawings and sculptures of Degas.
My paintings express the wonder and power of light, and I’ve always been drawn to the golden sunlight of Southern California. This professional artistic journey began in 1994. As I cut through alleys on my way to martial arts practice, I noticed how the sunset glowed through the buildings. The golden shafts of light in contrast to the vibrant blues of the shadows greatly influenced my work. I found new inspiration from the radiance of the sun.
|The Golden Skies series came about after several years of experimenting with ways to express this light in my urban/rural cityscapes in a fresh and meaningful way. This experimentation came to fruition when I was inspired to utilize gold leaf after viewing the works of Gustav Klimt. Later, while visiting the Timken Museum in Balboa Park, I viewed the collection of Russian Icons on wood panels. The reverence and visceral experience I felt from the luminance of these traditional Icon works further inspired me. In the art world, gold leaf techniques are often considered as merely decorative art. My goal is to advance gold leaf as a contemporary medium. |
The illumination in these works, seen from various angles, will give the viewer a unique and new perspective on the piece. The shift in light will also change the dynamics of the works, depending on the ambient light source and the angle in which the artwork is viewed. When applying gold leaf, I found that the medium added a spiritual quality to the work, as well as a radiance, which I hope the viewer will also experience.