An artist, transitioning from painting and mixed media in the late 2000's to working exclusively in photography Steven Duede brings a sense of painting to his use of the camera. The influence of painting in much of the photographic work cannot be understated. Originally from the mid-western USA Duede has been living and working in the Boston Massachusetts area since 2001. With a work history in museum operations, academic office administration as well as consulting and design for museums, galleries and arts non profits he carries his attachment to the creative process to all work. Currently, Duede serves as a corporator to the board of directors with the Griffin Museum of Photography. Having studied painting, printmaking and photography at the Kansas City Art Institute, then becoming an entrepreneur, for a time owning and operating a small music shop & gallery, Duede has devoted much of life to making art and working in creative environments. Work has been exhibited regularly in the Boston area and around the nation.
Selected Museums and Galleries include the Danforth Museum of Art, Griffin Museum of Photography, DeCordova Museum, Photo Center North West in Seattle WA. Fort Wayne Museum of Art, Sohn Fine Art MA, Photographic Resource Center, Boston, Site: Brooklyn NY, Kiernan Gallery VA. Public Art Projects with United Photo Industries (The FENCE) as well as King Co. PCNW (City Panorama) in Seattle. Permanent collections: Danforth Museum, Fort Wayne Museum of Art, Boston Properties.
In much of my work I’m dealing with subjects that are in a transitory state. The Evanescence series features images from composted organic materials. The photographs reflect my continued interest in images that can be beautiful; images that are chaotic, from natural elements and that also evoke something less obviously marvelous. Flowers and natural things are marvels of beauty and obviously flora is a big subject in my work juxtaposed, alongside elements of the ugly, the degraded. These elements bring to mind thinking about the contrast of the lovely and the less than beautiful. Thoughts about mortality and vitality can a rise from participating in these sorts of themes and that thoughtful imagery abounds for me in my own creative process. I’m witnessing the decomposition of natural compositions. In this body of work I’m exploring the mechanics of transition through time, neglect and natural decomposition. I hope to establish images that can be beautiful and chaotic. Subjects that in their own specific way function as part of a transient process.
The I-70 series features the relics of service stations found along Interstate 70 between St. Louis and Kansas City Missouri. These two cities inhabit the most easterly and most westerly areas of the state. Interstate 70 links these two provincial cities in an almost straight line. While traveling between those two cities visiting family, I observed numerous abandoned fuel and service stations that dot the landscape on either side of that highway. I found these structures compelling architecturally and indeed metaphorically given that they seem to mirror the ever-changing economic degradation in Middle America. Soon after, my lens followed these structures on my travels. These lonely broken unique buildings possess those transitory themes I am compelled to visit again and again in my work. Once with a specific purpose now without, except one that follows that decomposition of compositions. In this case the compositions were man made and structurally unique to one purpose. Box upon box surrounding an altar where petrol can be tapped to support our motorized needs and vehicular obsession. They appear to me as vacant monoliths creating a gauntlet along the open road without threat to the passerby. Without notice or function rendered useless by all consuming truck stop comfort zones that offer more and more under one roof. They serve as a reminder of the rapid loss of individuality that is pervasive in contemporary American culture and the hunger for the quick satisfaction of the snack, the slushee, the fuel.
This series is ongoing and I am now photographing abandoned service stations wherever I might find them. I-70 and beyond.