acrylic and collage on panel, triptych
48"h x 126”w
nfs - in a private collection
Debra Kruse's triptych, Peafowl, is an acrylic and collage painting on three panels. The central feature of the painting is a pair of birds, a peacock and a peahen, that nestle together in the upper right corner. The birds are perched above an oval form that is painted a beautiful robin’s egg blue. This round shape might be an egg, a nest or a cooking wok, but it serves the painting primarily as a decorative element – a pleasing oval around which the long tail feathers of the peafowl curve. The birds’ tails dissolve into pure repetitive pattern as they extend from the right of the composition into the gold ground that makes up the rest of the image at left.
The decorative flatness of Debra’s drawing, her fastidious patterning and the rich metal leaf that she works with all lend this painting a sense of luxury and opulence that recalls the work of Gustav Klimt and James Abbott McNeill Whistler’s famed Peacock Room interior. But in reality, the work is much more humble and modern than its predecessors. The leaf is copper and aluminum not silver and gold, the paint itself is acrylic house paint not oil and the artist keeps the allover pattern fresh by switching to her non-dominant drawing hand when the lines get too regular.