Last Dance, oil on canvas, 8"x10"
Grace in Flight, oil on canvas, 48"x38"
While Doug Whitfield's crowded compositions are dreamlike and decidedly outside the realm of our experience, they are not peopled with the abstruse and private imagery which we often associate with Surrealist art. On the contrary, Whitfield's world is decidedly accessible, with the human figure as the defining center of the composition. His characters - dancers, circus actors, performing animals - come to us as players in a fantastic theatre. They gesture dramatically and strike theatrical poses on what often appears to be a stage. They are as cognizant of us as we are of them, and they present themselves for our pleasure.
But Whitfield's actors never upstage the creative intelligence which informs them. Through finely contrived contrasts and allusions, Whitfield keeps our focus on the act of definition. His figures mingle passages of intensely real description, usually in the faces and appendages, with casual sketches; they exist in a state of both being and becoming. At times, too, they tease us with references to their artistic lineage: putti, odalisques, saltimbanques.
They inhabit an ambiguous land between history, myth, and fantasy, where the only certain presence is that of the artist. This is a land both ageless and ravaged by time: a land where the exotic cohabits with the everyday, flat foreground planes cut to deep space perspective, and the beautiful and grotesque seem but two sides of the same coin. And if there is a point to these juxtapositions, other than the sheer marvel and delight which they inspire, it is the power of the human imagination to comprehend and reconcile them.
Whitfield studied at the Cleveland Institute of Art and Rochester Institute of Technology, where he received his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 1968. His work has been exhibited throughout the United States and in Europe. He has won numerous awards and distinctions. His honors include commissions from the Guild of Film Actors and the US Congress. Many collectors, including former Texas governor Ann Richards, are proud to own Whitfield's work. Whitfield lives in Williamson, New York, with his wife, Franca.
Busted! It's a Paint-by-Numbers, oil on canvas
Feather Dream, oil on canvas, 22"x32"
Spring, oil on canvas, 48"x38"
Thy Love, oil on canvas, 22"x32"
Triple Goddess, oil on canvas triptych
One Man Band, oil on canvas
Mandolin and Rose, oil, 18" x 24" (image)
Gold Toe Shuffle, oil on canvas
Gatherer (A Bird in the Hand…), oil on canvas
Melancholy Mind Map, oil on canvas on board
Trophy, oil on canvas, 22" x 32"
Prices available on request