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Dwayne Carter - digital image

Dwayne Carter - untitled image, 1998
epson archival print - 13 x 19 inches

When I was a stop on the 2004 White Rock Lake Artists Studio Tour, I gave many of the visitors a spiel that tied several of Dwayne's pieces together in something of a cohesive history of his work and his goals.

The biggest piece of the puzzle — and the first — is the 67 x 52-inch untitled air-brushed painting just inside my front door. It involves James Benning holding the mirrored image of Elise Goldberg, who would have been alone, leaning against the wall in the mirror-image painting that I never saw and which sold many years before I ever saw this half of the pair.

That painting was about flesh tones and the perfect rendering thereof. The delicately airbrushed tonalities that comprise that soft image are exquisite.

Then comes Bad Habits, a brush-painted oil, also about rendering female flesh, as well as akward poses. In it, a woman with slender legs whose identity is withheld from us by cropping at her bust line, sits on a tuffit in a small, tight room. Cigarettes — the bad habits of the title — are splayed on the dark, grainy wood floor. Everything in the picture, the walls, the floor, and especially her legs, are ideally rendered. Verisimilitude up the yin-yang.

Finally comes this smallish work. I know, from watching him paint for nearly two decades that he loves compositions and poses that are physically impossible. Neither of the other paintings in this short history of his work show that proclivity. But this one — and many of the digital images that led to it — sure do.

But there's also that fascination with the photographic rendering of flesh that makes this fantastical image zing. I know Dwayne often works with much larger images, but I'm happy to have this one, smallish picture.

Unlike many of his works, I do not recognize anyone here. I think I know that garage in the upper right, and the girl with the solarized nose central stage right looks like a Stanco, many of whom have posed for him in the past.

Story and photograph by J R Compton.
Copyright 2006 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved.
No Reproduction in any medium without specific
written permission. E-mail J R.