Disparate Minds: Dave Krueger

August 15, 2019 By anne-cauley

Heavily driven by an ongoing fascination with pop culture, Dave Krueger’s maximalist aesthetic is defined by dense systems of geometric shapes and asymmetrical grids. Between fantastical narrative passages, the surface is populated with symbols, numbers, occasional text fragments, and numerous decorative patterns comprised of diamonds, asterisks, zigzags, circles, crosses, and X’s. Drawing upon influences that span movies, comic books, 8-bit arcade games, and weather phenomena, these works emit an electric hum of activity. Recurring motifs include radiant suns with cartoonish visages, angular birds resembling origami cranes, monstrous reptiles, and mysterious bodies of water.

Every painting is informed by an elaborate, living narrative, which shifts over time or with each animated telling:

I made that with my own two hands and my fingers are twinkling and my fingers say yes and my fingers know how to talk. I’m still working on it. This painting I made is Return of the Jedi and the Jedi Master. The master is the head boss of Darth Vader. He was Luke Skywalker’s father. I’m not evil like Darth Vader. I want to see what Darth Vader really looks like under his mask. I think he looks hideous, he’s all flesh and bones. I want to make sure he turns into bionics.

When asked about his background, Krueger offers without hesitation, “I’ve made art all my life. My mother used to be an artist – she taught me.” Born in 1962, he has maintained a creative practice at the Arts of Life’s Chicago studio since 2007, five days a week. While painting, he enjoys cracking jokes and actively conversing with those in his vicinity throughout the day. Always aware of what other artists are working on, he often saves skins of dried acrylic peeled from his paint containers for Hubert Posey, who then incorporates these remnants into his own sculptures.

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