Q+A with Denise Duong
You may have admired her artwork in local galleries, on the Plaza District's Plaza Walls, or outside OKC's 21c Hotel. We sat down to chat with Denise Duong, the local artist behind the 2019 Keep It Local Card design.
What’s your background and what led you to pursue art?
I’ve always wanted to pursue art. It was the only thing that I ever wanted to do since my first memories. I've been creating things constantly. I come from a Vietnamese family that immigrated here. They would question my decisions, but were always very supportive. (Of my dreams..not my teenage choices sometimes.) But good grades went a long way in our house. Just don’t royally f*ck up and you were good.
How would you describe your artistic style?
Narrative with humor, yet there is depth.
What inspires you when you’re creating art?
There’s so many elements about traveling that are inspiring. The people, the colors, nature, the air, the sounds, the buildings. The emotions of past present and possible future. I can be home and be inspired as well. I pretty much soak up my environment physically and mentally.
Who are some artists whose styles you really admire?/Is there any specific artist who has particularly influenced you?
I admire so many artists. I love styles that I can not do. I admire the detailed, the realistic, the simple and abstract. I was told my artwork is very French - one of the reason’s why I visited France. It seemed kind of like my past life. Haha. I like the multi use of materials that Rauschenberg does. And I love the strange sculptures of Modigliani.
What do you love about the current art scene in Oklahoma?
I love how supportive everyone is. Everyone is excited and its very energetic.
Do you feel that you have any limitations as an artist right now?
Not that I can think of. I feel grateful I’m able to do what I do and plus some! Well, of course there are always these grand ideas that cost money to do. So now, it's just about taking time to map out ideas and see how to fund some of them.
Do you have any upcoming projects you can tell us about?
I just finished 2 murals at Plaza Walls (OKC).
I should be able to start my project with the Faces of the 47th in a few weeks. I’m wheat pasting 47 faces of public school kids on the old Jesus Saves building on NE 10th Street (OKC). Its just a reminder to voters in November to vote for pro public education. WE are 47th in the nation in the public school ranking.
We are celebrating a one year and 1 month anniversary at Little D Gallery on December 7th.
I’ve got a show in Seoul (South Korea) in March 2019!
Oh, and working with Lance (McDaniel) on some small animations for an opera in November.
What advice would you give to someone who is aspiring to make a living as an artist?
Persistence. Don’t let rejection take you down. And self impose deadlines - they work...at least for me. And be true to yourself. Find your lines and strokes and be true to them.
Where can people follow you on social media?
Facebook: I think I’m just Denise Duong
Twitter: I think it's @deniseduong ( I got my actual name because I signed up while living in San Fransisco in exchange for free drinks and food. Who knew it would get so big.)
Is there anything we haven’t asked you about that you want to tell us?
I have a bull terrier named Debo that I love. That’s about it.
Hope this isn’t all over the place.