Patrick Duffy, Painter
So Patrick, you've been pretty busy this past year.
Yep. I've had two solo shows, one in Chelsea, one on the Upper East Side. I was also in a group show in Chelsea.
Yes. The first solo show I sold two, in the group show I sold one and the last show I sold two as well.
People seem to like your paintings, what do you think they see in them?
I think it's the energy in them that relates to this New York City environment. Most of the people that I've sold paintings to have been in New York for quite some time. I think it embellishes the concept of the pattern--the everyday pattern, people coming and going to work. As to what they see specifically, some people will just say 'I think this would look great in my dining room' and other people will say 'Wow, I really love these three colors and how they interact'. Eventually they understand the meaning when I explain it to them.
So tell me about the Wading Hats series.
I'm attempting to bring an environment from the 1930s-40s, Depression Era, something that builds up into this group of working class people. The hats become a flowing pattern like water. I was brought up in Maine around the ocean so I wanted to incorporate that aspect of it to make it something more personal. I wanted to connect the idea of time flow and that eternal pattern of, you know, going to bed and getting up and going to work because it's always in motion. The hats are more like a visual cheat; you're not looking at peoples' faces or the style of the figure, it's more about them acting within a group. They each have their own characteristics but they're subtle.
You've got a day job in a gallery, how's that working out for you?
Good. It's tough. It's interesting because you really learn a lot of the business. I'm in charge of shipping worldwide, keeping tabs on all the artworks, processing money, I go to visit the artists' studios as well.
What was your reason for coming to PrattMWP?
It didn't necessarily boil down to cost - PrattMWP isn't as expensive as the other schools, but it's a refined program. I traveled around to a lot of other schools and their studios and their environments just weren't what I had in mind. PrattMWP has great spaces. The thing about Pratt Brooklyn is that there's more distraction that can take you away from what you're doing. PrattMWP has a smaller campus and a more intimate program that allows more focus.
When did you know you wanted to be an artist?
High school. I drew a lot and painted a lot and then I started to incorporate the viewer into my work.
So in addition to all this you've been brewing beer here at home.
And I haven't had a bad batch yet! I've got a stout, a british bitter, I just bottled an imperial IPA. Want to try some?
I'd love to try the stout!
It's got coffee beans, chocolate... you can, like mix it up when you're brewing.
You're such a Renaissance man... where did home brewing come in?
Brewing came in from back home. I've got a good friend who's parents sent him a beer brewing kit. He started to play around and I was like "wow this is great!". Here, try the stout (pours). *Cheers!*
You can get all the information online, there are hundreds of different recipes and different types of ingredients, add whatever else you want to.
That's great stuff!