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Derrick Guild at Lux Art Institute

Lux Art Institute, San Diego’s interactive art destination, will welcome Derrick Guild as the final artist of the ’08-’09 season.

Guild, a painter from Edinburgh, Scotland, has been working on the Island of Ascension in the South Atlantic for the last two years and will reside at Lux from May 28-June 20.

While in-studio, he will create a large-scale, oil “label painting” of an equestrian based on a work of 17th-century Spanish master Diego Velázquez, famous for his portraits of royals in the court of King Philip VI and one of Guild’s strongest artistic influences.

Visitors can “see art happen” while Guild is in the Lux studio and view his completed work through August 1, 2009. While Guild has exhibited in the United States, his show at Lux is his first on the West Coast.

Derrick Guild’s “label paintings” play with the tradition of trompe l’oeil, a form in which the painter renders an object so precisely that it literally “tricks the eye” of the viewer. This style flourished in the Renaissance and enabled artists to render things with “eye-fooling exactitude.”

Guild’s “label paintings” go a step further by serving as a personal commentary on society’s need to categorize, order and pigeonhole. By painting the image of a person (in Guild’s case, the figures from Velázquez’s court paintings, the highest strata of Spanish society at the time) in the very structured manner of a grid—within the dimensions of painted tags, or labels—a “cage” formation is created and the incorporated image is then held within this cage. The result is a portrait that denotes a sense of limitation and restriction imposed by society’s definitions of status and class.

Guild also works in the ongoing tradition of the “kitchen still life,” a genre practiced by European masters of the 15th to 19th centuries. His hyper-realistic paintings and objects characterize Guild’s fascination with the appearance of things and his desire to represent them with detail and clarity. By juxtaposing objects or presenting them individually, Guild references ideas of love, loss, religion, beauty, geo-politics, humor, longing, death, absurdity, and decay.

“We are thrilled to welcome Derrick Guild to Lux for his first West Coast show,” said Lux Director Reesey Shaw. “Guild’s refined classical images using 17th century ‘kitchen still life’ techniques and his diamond encrusted sculpture will be unforgettable additions to his exhibition here.”

Guild received a BA degree and his Post Graduate Diploma from Duncan of Jordanston College of Art and Design, Dundee, where he has taught since 1992. He has had numerous solo and group exhibitions in Europe and the United States, including: “Sense is Hard” at the Pier Arts Centre, Stromness, Orkney, 1999; “Picnic Hamper for Heaven” at Perth Museum, Scotland, 2007; and “Bread Paintings,” 2000 and “Pre-Ascension,” 2007 at the Allan Stone Gallery in New York City.

He has been the recipient of many awards, including the Maude Gemmell Hutchison Award RSA, the Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation Award, and the Villiers David Foundation Award.

About Lux Art Institute
Lux Art Institute, located in Encinitas, Calif., opened its doors to the public in November 2007 and is redefining the museum experience with its unique artist-in-residence program. At Lux, artists live and work on site, while producing a commissioned work of art.

Throughout the year, Lux invites significant regional, national, and international artists to participate in the Lux residency and encourages visitors from across the country to observe and engage them. This one-of-a-kind institution invites visitors to not only “see art,” but also to “see art happen.”

Slated to be the first “green” (LEED certified) art museum in California and located alongside one of Southern California’s few remaining coastal wetlands, Lux’s five-acre site overlooks the San Elijo Lagoon and is surrounded by a wildlife preserve that stretches to the Pacific Ocean.

Santa Monica, California-based Renzo Zecchetto, AIA, designed the two-story building, a recent recipient of the San Diego Architectural Foundation’s top design award.

Lux Art Institute is located at 1550 South El Camino Real in Encinitas. Lux hours are Thursday and Friday, 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.; cost is $10 for two visits.
For more information visit www.luxartinstitute.org or call 760.436.6611.

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