Trenton Duerksen

Published September 4, 2009 by Molly

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Describing Trenton Duerksen’s illustrations is like reciting the lead-up to an especially freaky joke. Let’s take the above example to start. “Mark Twain, Nikola Tesla, and the Cat in the Hat are roasting marshmallows in the woods…”

See? Duerksen’s portrayal of the Last Supper (see below) also fits the pattern– it features Steve Jobs, Matthew Barney, Darwin, Kate Moss and Bjork at the table, among others. To top off the conceptual mastery, Duerksen’s skills are immaculate and deployed in the classical manner: no computers, no Google imaging, just hand-drawing and coloring with gouache. None of this Photoshop crud that everyone else is doing these days.

Those with keen vision have recognized Duerksen’s talent. He was featured in the PS1 Greater New York show, represented by Guild & Greyshkul and was artist in residence at Nest Magazine.

Duerksen’s inspirations include old masters Bruegel, Durer, and Poussin, along with MAD Magazine. If this list of references sounds loony, it also makes perfect sense. Like Bruegel, Duerksen has an acute interest in the human comedy. Like Durer, he’s a wizard of perspective. Like Poussin, he’s off the wall. And like MAD Magazine, he has a sick sense of humor. All of this plus a raging interest in the absurd equals a body of work that’s no joke to contend with. ยกViva Duerksen!

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