George Dureau Artist's Quarters

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New Orleans Artist George Dureau was born in this city in 1930 and has lived here for most of his life.  Dureau is proficient in many media, but he's best known for his figural paintings and drawings and for his photographs of male nudes. He is also an accomplished sculptor, having produced  such works as the gates at the New Orleans Museum of Art and the pediment sculptures for the Harah's Casino in New Orleans.

Recently, a wonderful article about the artist and his home were featured in New Orleans Homes and Lifestyles. Dureau's current home,  a three-story unfinished warehouse in the French Quarter is evocative of his own personal brand of New Orleans Style.

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Dureau moved from a more residential space, also in the French Quarter, into this building in a more commercial area of the Quarter about two years ago and completely embraced his new home in all its glory. He chose to leave the building in its aged glory-exposed bricks, unfinished, cracked gray walls, raw wooden floors. "I didn't even bother to repaint the window frames in this place," he says. "Everything just lends itself to everything else here." In true New Orleans style, the artist responds to the inherent beauty in the raw and honest condition of this building, choosing to enhance the space with well-loved and personal furnishings.

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A passionate cook,  Dureau has created a kitchen which takes up one whole end of the second floor. Utilizing "the same old ancient furniture" he's had for years, he has created a stunningly personal and inviting space for cooking and eating. Gracing the walls is a profusion of the artist's paintings, drawings and figure studies all of which he considers works in progress. "Those drawings are just waiting there for me to touch them up," he says. My favorite part of this unbelievable space is the  inclusion of a canopy bed the artist inherited from his grandmother. Nowhere else but in New Orleans would such imaginative furniture placement be found.

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With his newfound abundance of space, Dureau is able to work all over his house. "Moving to this house two years ago changed very much what I get to see because I had lots of stuff stored away" he says. "I had tons of pictures hiding away in closets and now I'm seeing them for the first time since 1977 or 1986- old unfinished drawings or paintings suddenly get a new life. "

 

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"I live with them and they live with me, and sometimes I'll draw the same one over and over again and rethink them and change them as I see fit I don't always worry about getting finished. And here I have these great walls for them to hang on, so I can just retouch and  redraw. It's wonderful."

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Dureau, who is one of our city's most well-liked and accessible artists, works on his art every day.  Surrounded by work which chronicles his long and successful career, the artist revels in both his city and his home, inspired to continue the artist's life journey.

George Dureau's work can be seen at the New Orleans Museum of Art, The Ogden Museum of Southern Art, Gallier Hall in New Orleans and Harrah's New Orleans Casino, and many fine homes in our city. He is represented by the Arthur Roger Gallery.



I am the owner of Julie Neill Designs in New Orleans where we create beautiful custom lighting. This blog is my love letter to the unique people, places and happenings which make New Orleans the amazing place it is.


Please visit my website to learn more about my lighting and our fabulous shop on Magazine Street.

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