The Rotation Series are exhibitions that allow us to showcase artist we love in between major exhibitions that are pre-scheduled a year out. During this opening we are featuring the amazing art of Chris Duke and Ruben Morancy.
Duke has been painting on windows for the last 15 years. He had experimented on many different surfaces when one night, after exhausting all materials in his studio, the last thing left to paint on was an abandoned window that he had found on the street. He was so inspired by the quality of light achieved by painting directly on the glass. From that day forward he paints on windows exclusively and hasn’t painted on canvas ever since.
Duke’s history is just as interesting has his artworks. He grew up in Louisville, KY. He was number seven of fourteen children born to Charles and Jewel Duke. His mother and father were both musicians, so consequently Duke grew up playing music in a house full of sound. Almost all of his brothers and sisters sang and/or played an instrument. They played together, at home and at the nondenominational church where his father was the pastor. After graduating from high school, Duke joined the Marine Corp and was stationed in both California and Japan.
After completing his time in the service he returned to Louisville and turned his focus back to music. In the beginning, he had a band with his brother Glen but eventually started his own blues band. For the next several years he spent much time on the road playing gigs all over the Midwest and the South. Band members came and went. Eventually, Duke headed West, living first in Colorado and later moved to California while still making his living as a professional musician. In 1998, as a solo act, Duke was booked to open for a band named Little Feet at Biscuits and Blues in Hollywood. However, by that time, the pressure and trying lifestyle of the music industry had taken a toll on him. He drove right by the gig without looking back. This marked the beginning of a transition away from music as a mainstay. His window paintings capture bustling city life, featuring subdued figures in brightly colored street scenes and have an atmospheric quality that transport the viewer right into the movement of the moment. Now he presents his work here ready for you to see. Read this article on Duke.
Ruben Morancy is a self-taught artist who currently lives in Los Angeles, CA. Born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Ruben was a hyperactive child. His mother–a talented seamstress, whose passion was Haitian embroidery–encouraged him to draw as a means of focusing his energies and keeping him out of trouble. Thus, to calm himself, Ruben drew and painted with watercolors, and also built colorful kites.
In 1982, when Ruben was 14, his family moved to the United States. Over the next ten years, Ruben lived in New York City and Philadelphia, until he headed west in 1992, seeking new experiences. Having come from a family steeped in food culture, Ruben pursued a career in the food and wine industry. He completed the Culinary Arts program at City College of San Francisco, and then relocated briefly to Los Angeles where he managed a restaurant for two years. Upon his return to San Francisco, Ruben’s love of fine wines led to a career as a successful wine broker. He chose to settle in the heart of wine country, eventually purchasing a home in Windsor in 2006, though Ruben commuted to San Francisco where he continued to sell wines to merchants and restaurants. During the weekends, in his quiet, bucolic home, Ruben resumed painting and drawing. Now his powerful work featuring James Baldwin and Landscapes are here for your viewing pleasure. Visit Ruben’s Website.
Due to the popularity of this show it has been extended from February 28 to March 24th. We are excited to have more time to view this amazing work.