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The way that I paint these clouds is actually a subtractive process. So instead of painting the clouds I’ll put the paint on and then I’ll take away the highlights and really kind of soft, delicate way when the paint is still wet.

Artist Damian Stamer
Damian Stamer Playhouse
Damian Stamer, Playhouse, 2013. Oil on panel, 48 x 72 in (121.9 x 182.9 cm). Collection of the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University. Gift of Susan and Michael Hershfield. © Damian Stamer.

The Nasher Museum is pleased to announce the acquisition of Playhouse by Durham-based artist Damian Stamer.
This is the artist’s first work to enter the collection.
Stamer’s work draws on his childhood in the rural South and his many outdoor adventures exploring dilapidated buildings near his home with his twin brother. These memories stayed with the artist as he studied with current Duke Professor Beverly McIver at Arizona State University and continued to develop his practice in New York City, before returning to the Triangle permanently, completing his MFA at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2013. This work depicts barns near Lake Michie in Durham County, near where Stamer grew up and now lives. Though his paintings primarily recall the joy and excitement of exploring abandoned barns as a child, Stamer also recognizes the dark side of their existence. “[T]hese ruins also represent a past and present I too often did not see. The centuries-old industries that brought many of these picturesque barns were built upon slavery, oppression and denial of human rights. Although transgressions may be buried deep beneath the soil, some of the power structures that enabled them remain.”

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