The little shop at the corner of Bent Street - Fine Hand Crafts for over 25 years
Duane O'Hagan (1938-2015)
Born in Harlowton, Montana, schooled mainly in Canada, Duane O'Hagan is a graduate of the Ontario College of Art in the Fine Arts. Duane's early art career as a landscape painter attracted membership in the Ontario Society of Watercolor and the Bermuda Society of Painters. He has traveled extensively and lived in most parts of the United States. During his travels, Duane's creative talents were put to use in commercial projects creating specialized interiors for major hotels. The call of the Southwest brought him to the Big Bend of the Rio Grande River, where he began to paint once again. His first place of abode was a small camper alongside the river in La Madera, where be started to collect driftwood. Attracted to the Folk and Primitive Arts, he turned to crafts, making birds and small masks from the treasures the river and land provide.
Long attracted to the Southwest culture and history, he began to study the older works of native Kachina and mask makers. He found that these earlier works, which are frontal and visually static, emphasize their immortal and supernatural qualities.
With a deep appreciation for these forms and the continuing gifts of cottonwood from the river, he created a special series of Kachinas and masks. Each piece is a contemporary work based on earlier works currently held in museums around the world. The artist naturally developed his own artistic formulas of paints and finishes, as well as color placements. It is the inspiration of the original works couples with his own creative talent that makes his carvings reminiscent of the old ones in spirit. Duane was always clear in that his works not be considered reproductions, but his own interpretations of the ancient pieces.
Duane passed away in January of 2015.
Only a limited collection of Duane's artwork is remaining.
Contact Taos Blue for a description & photos of pieces currently available.