Covers revisited: November 1993 with Otto Decker
TulsaPeople’s Nov. 18, 1993, cover featured Tulsa artist Otto Duecker. Tulsa photographer John McCormack staged and shot the cover photo, which was symbolic of Duecker’s popular “floating fruit” New Realism artwork.
Twenty-five years later, he says, “The Floating Fruit Series — fruits and vegetables suspended above the plane of canvas — are fun to paint and enjoyed by collectors.”
Another popular Duecker series depicts portraits of iconic men and women in the form of black and white photographs. “I never look for contrasts from one series to the next, or one work to the next,” the artist says. “I just want a steady evolution in subject, posing, lighting and paint quality.”
Today his work is in galleries from San Francisco, Santa Fe and Boston, to London, as well as Tulsa’s M.A. Doran.
Duecker still retreats to his mental “zone” while busy in his studio. “You have to get your mind as far away as possible from the physical work,” he says. “The three things that accomplish this for me are listening to podcasts, ancient history lectures on YouTube and a great audio book.”
But he has never followed a personal mantra. “Other than just doing the best work I can with the skills I have, I don’t think I’ve ever had a philosophy about art. I do know that I have to paint every day.” His bucket list? “I don’t even have to leave my studio. Every day there are new subjects to explore and a new set of problems to solve.”