Visual Poetry

artist Andy Ducett weaves together array of imagery

Bailey Berg, photos by Leah Dunbar

When he’s not teaching classes at UW-Stout – or sitting on a stool smiling at you – Minneapolis artist Andy Ducett is busy displaying his work around the world.
 
When he’s not teaching classes at UW-Stout – or sitting on a stool smiling at you – Minneapolis artist Andy Ducett is busy displaying his work around the world.

You know that saying? The one that goes, “those who cannot do, teach?” Well folks, that is definitely not the case for Andy Ducett.

For the past four and a half years, Ducett has taught a wide variety of classes at UW-Stout, from drawing and painting to computer imagery and installation. Also, this semester, he is teaching an advanced installation class at the College of Visual Arts in Minneapolis. Andy Ducett doesn’t just teach art, he creates it … and then it is displayed or published all over the world. Seriously. He’s a big deal.

His installations predominately consist of site-specific mounds of found objects. The only way to describe his works would be to compare them to the stuff accumulated in one’s attic – only far more interesting and visually enticing. Ducett phrased it as, “visual poetry.” The pieces include all types of random treasures, from toys and pieces of furniture to lights and knick-knacks. Then there are his drawings – depicting cities, carnivals, and more – but he takes them to a whole new level with the intensity of the detail.

His work is greatly revealing of his personality. “I think that really strong artwork is indicative of the person who makes it, and that the way the work is presented – some objects strung together sometimes meticulous, sometimes whimsically – references my personality,” said Ducett.

Ducett’s work is steeped in lineage, where one body of work somehow relates to the next. But each piece starts out as a complete improvisation, generally with a visually interesting catalyst object, around which the rest of the piece is formed. But when you’re piling on objects, how do you know when you’re done? Similarly to a chef knowing when a soufflé is done – having worked with it long enough, one begins to understand the flexibility of the medium. Ducett said, “You just know. It just feels done.”

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