Philadelphiaās James Dupree calls unsold āEvolving Elementsā his magnum opus
Online PR News – 19-November-2010 – – Itās thirty feet long, eight feet high and at last for now, occupies a coveted spot in Philadelphia International Airportās Terminal E, opposite the gates of Southwest Airlines.
Travelers awaiting flights gawk at its great swirls of color and the vibrant three-dimensional rings that jut from its surface.
Itās the kind of art installation that any airport - or any other great building - would be proud to display.
Now all the artist needs is someone to buy it.
āItās a tremendous honor to have this mural in such a prominent place in my hometown airport,ā says James Dupree, 60. āQuite frankly, I think itās my magnum opus - the best thing Iāve ever done. Unfortunately, itās not a permanent installation ā so unless somebody decides to acquire it for the airport or some other location, it goes back to my studio in May.ā
Of course, the mural isnāt something just anyone can whip out their plastic and pay for.
Asking price? $220,000.
A renowned abstractionist whose work is represented in museums and collections worldwide, Dupree says he knew the terms of the airport deal when he agreed to create the installation; and that the acrylic and oil painting, entitled āEvolving Elements,ā was never intended for purchase by the airport. It was installed as part of Philadelphia Internationalās Exhibitions program, in which Philadelphia artists are asked to lend their works for a specific time period, usually about six months. The intent of the program is to showcase local talent to the wider world as well as arts professionals.
āJames is a very prolific, energetic artistā¦Iām honored to have him hereā says Leah Douglas, Director of Exhibitions at the airport. Douglas says that although āEvolving Elementsā was never intended to be a permanent addition to Terminal E, the programās artwork does have a history of finding buyers.
āThousands of people a day will see this work ā so the opportunity is really high that something else could come from this exhibitionā¦a sale, another show, a commission in the future. Artwork does sell that we exhibit,ā says Douglas.
Good news for Dupree; but even if the piece doesnāt find a buyer, heās not complaining.
āSure, Iād love to see the thing sell. My fantasy is that some big oil baron or internet tycoon will walk by and say, āwow, thatās just what we need for the living room.ā But a lot of artists would kill to have their work displayed in a major airport like this. Iām only sorry the piece canāt stay here forever.ā
About James Dupree
James Dupree was born in Philadelphia. He received his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the Columbus College of Art and Design in Ohio and his Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of Pennsylvania.
His work is represented in numerous museums and collections around the world including:
The Philadelphia Museum of Art
The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts
The Columbus Museum of Fine Art
The Schomberg Museum, Copenhagen
The Schomberg Center, New York
The Studio Museum of Harlem, New York
The African American Museum, Philadelphia
The African American Museum, New York
The Free Library of Philadelphia
Dupreeās work is also included in many corporate and private collections. Sony, SmithKline, Blue Cross/Blue Shield and Tower Records display his work at their headquarters and the Dave Matthews Band and singer Patti Labelle are among his collectors. He is also the recipient of many prestigious grants and fellowships.
As an educator, Dupree has taught at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, the Studio Museum of Harlem in New York, the Contemporary Arts Center in North Adams, MA and the Pioneer Arts Organization in Cardiff, Wales.
Dupree is also president of Dupree Studios, Inc, an art gallery that also offers painting and drawing classes to the public.
For more about James Dupree, visit www.dupreestudios.com