Serving House: A Journal of Literary Arts
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Visual Arts
SHJ Issue 17
Fall 2017

[Three Artworks]

by Duane Locke

Three Graces, painting by Duane Locke

Three Graces

Copyright © by Duane Locke. All rights reserved.
Reproduced here with his permission.


Sur Object U-567, digital painting by Duane Locke

Sur Object U-567

Copyright © by Duane Locke. All rights reserved.
Reproduced here with his permission.


Sur Object U-594, digital painting by Duane Locke

Sur Object U-594

Copyright © by Duane Locke. All rights reserved.
Reproduced here with his permission.

Artist’s Statement

My Sur-Objects were created on a photo processor. They are neither orthodox photographs nor paintings, something for which they are often mistaken. The process is my own personal invention. I started doing Sur-Objects in June, 2016, and already 103 have been accepted for publication.

I am inspired by the radical singularity of the concrete particulars of the earth, nature. I contemplate such living beings as leafhoppers and other insects, and when transformed by this intense and exciting contemplation, I commence creating a Sur-Object. I feel that words can never delineate the experience of that contemplation, thus I convey this inward and concealed experience through visual art with the hopes that the viewer will also experience a non-verbal, no-thought experience and transcend the reductive limitations and quasi-falsity of our au courant received and traditional explications and axiologies.

I feel that most of our beliefs and esthetic theories are false and destroy authentic art. We must unlearn what has been spoken into us and transvalue everything. I have no respect for popular and traditional beliefs and opinions. Our current society is a culture of mendacity and fantasy. Rarely does anyone experience reality, and thus most live their whole lives in self-deception. I believe my art transcends the narrow, and the insularity and ego-imprisonment of the human mind.

SHJ Issue 17
Fall 2017

Duane Locke

was born in 1921 on a farm near Vienna, Georgia. His undergraduate work at the University of Florida led to his Masters studies on John Keats and set the foundation for his Doctoral thesis on the poetry of John Donne and Andrew Marvell. He received a Ph.D. in English Renaissance Literature in 1958 and, for more than 20 years, was Professor of English and Poet in Residence at the University of Tampa, where he taught courses on every period of poetry ranging from Old English to contemporary, with a concentration in contemporary European and Latin American poetry. At the University of Tampa, he also edited three critically acclaimed journals of poetry: Poetry Review (1964-1971), UT Review (1972-1982), and Abatis (1983-1986).

Locke’s poems have appeared in such journals as American Poetry Review, The Nation, The Literary Review, Kansas Quarterly, Black Moon, Ann Arbor Review, and The Bitter Oleander, to name but a few. More than 7,000 of his poems are published in print and e-zine formats. He is the author of 34 books of poetry, most recently Visions (Kind of a Hurricane Press, July 2016). His honors include the Edna St. Vincent Millay Prize for best sonnet written in that year, the Charles Agnoff Award for best poem in a literary review, and the Walt Whitman Award bestowed upon him by the Poetry Society of America.

“...we have been born here to witness and celebrate. We wonder at our purpose for living. Our purpose
is to perceive the fantastic. Why have a universe if there is no audience?” — Ray Bradbury