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Bill Dugan

NationalVeteransArtMuseum on May 23, 2013 20:23

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Bill Dugan
Served in Vietnam, U.S. Air Force
24” x 11”, Mixed Media, (Steel, Bones and Tape)

36” x 20” x 20”, Mixed Media (Combined Steel, Collage, Bones, Glass)

8” x 10”, Plaster and Found Objects

Bill Dugan served in Vietnam as an Air Force Lab Tech. He did autopsies and bagged bodies in Thailand, and continued to do so upon his return home. Dugan works in a variety of media including painting, drawing, printmaking, collage and sculpture. He incorporates found objects, often from the natural world including bones, hair and teeth in his sculptural pieces.

"Ann, who eventually became my wife–we were up out at Tyson Research Center, it’s a 2,000 acre place outside of St. Louis where the print studios were for graduate students. She brought me this dead squirrel that she hit on the road, and said, 'Here, I thought you might want this for supper,' and I said, 'Oh thanks.' So I skinned it, cooked it on the grill and I just went, 'Wow, this is kind of like–you know I just feel real comfortable.' So I skinned it, salted it down, and then started printing dead animals, and digging up dead animals off the highway. It was just–all of a sudden I realized, 'Hey I feel real comfortable doing this. I can give this an honorable burial.' So I did a bunch of those. Of course, now, it didn’t lead to a lot of gallery entries. There’s a lot of people who have called about it. And you know, friends have said, 'Oh that was your dark period,' but I don’t know if that was really my dark period. It was a process that I had to go through to deal with some of the issues that I still had in my head."

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