Between 2007 and 2009, Tom LaDuke created a series of paintings by pairing two gray scale airbrushed layers; one layer depicts a view of his studio and the other a scene from a classic film—here, Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining (1980). In this horror movie—especially during its final chapter, entitled “4 PM”—the snowed-in Overlook Hotel becomes a threatening antagonist, apparently determined to kill its inhabitants. This somewhat menacing image vies for attention with the view of LaDuke’s studio, including overhead industrial fluorescent lighting and plastic containers visible at the bottom edge of the canvas, which appears as if reflected on the canvas surface. Throughout the history of art, the artist’s studio has been represented as a space of production, but also confinement and isolation. In forcing these two image registers to vie for primacy within the same painting, LaDuke prompts us to consider the way that people are shaped by the spaces they inhabit and how our eyes and minds can simultaneously receive and interpret competing data.
Label from The Swindle: Art Between Seeing and Believing, May 26–October 28, 2018