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American Arcanum

Overstreet Ducasse chronicles secret realms through the prism of popular culture

(a work from Overstreet Ducasse’s recent series, “Rock Paper Scissors.”)

Symbols, identities and dreams all merge in the visionary work of Overstreet Ducasse. The 37 year old Riverside based artist creates highly engaging works that address everything from politics and religion to national identity, yet rather than issuing his messages with the heavy hand of a zealot, Ducasse instead creates compositions that are guided more by a soft secrecy, a personally defined order of ciphers, logos and archetypes. Born in Haiti, at the age of six Ducasse moved to South Florida with his family. Encouraged by his parents to pursue his obvious childhood skills at illustration, in his adolescent years Ducasse began utilizing various paints to express his burgeoning creative desires. While in his late teens and early twenties, Ducasse discovered the music and mythology of the NYC hip hop pedagogues known as the Wu-Tang Clan, who he credits with inspiring not only his work but even subsequent life philosophy and worldview.

While Ducasse is quick to dismiss the comparison, visually his work finds some affinity with the Surrealist movement of the early 20th century. Faceless figures and grinning celebrities are juxtaposed alongside religious and occult-like icons, as objects as disparate as batteries, food and familiar product brands are seemingly chosen for their numerological and metaphysical values. Yet unlike the at times-rigid or manifesto-driven work of those same cerebral predecessors, Ducasse seems more directed by his recurring motifs and concepts by way of a loose and ever-changing system that is expressed in the form of various series. Continue reading