By cutting and arranging printed materials such as vintage product labels on flat surfaces, Troy Dugas alters the original meaning of these printed images to create intricate radical structures. These constructions appear woven and imitate the appearance of hand-woven lace or scrupulously handcrafted fabrics. Their designs can be dizzyingly complicated, much like embroidered samplers, quilts, folk art, cathedral windows and Persian rugs. They reveal his awareness of the history of Minimalist, Pop and Abstract art, as he uses their vocabulary to make aesthetic decisions. His effortless patterns become a meticulously crafted series of beautifully rendered geometric shapes.
Two works featured in this exhibition draw direct connections to New Orleans. One work features the Falstaff Beer label, while the other employs the beautiful purple labels with silver metallic ink from New Orleans’ Royal Brewing Company, which produced Pilsner Lager for the K&B drugstores. The exhibition also includes a large scale work of Evangeline Maid bread wrappers.
Dugas says of his work, “At first glance my work is very serious, very organized. But when you investigate it, I think it’s kind of funny. Not as serious as it first appears. I think I’m creating abstract minimal art but with a more grassroots relatable sensibility.” The artist greatly values the craft aspect of his work and acknowledges, “My work is heavily influenced by quilting and crochet.”