George Fluke - Conceptual Artist

by Lara Eichenberger on May 25th, 2013

George Flukeā€™s astonishing and often provocative work can be seen at Main Street Artists Gallery during the month of October, 2012.  Following the trend which originated in the early 1960's and became a major national movement through the 70's, George creates meticulously crafted objects which all convey an idea or concept through the use of metaphor. This approach turns traditional art on its head by placing concept ahead of aesthetics, making the idea as important as the finished product.  When the movement started, it freed artists to push the boundaries of criteria for establishing what is art and began to introduce meaning into the mix.  It was revolutionary then and today.  His work is executed with humor and wit without heavy handedness, and still delivers a powerful punch to the viewer's consciousness.  Such is the effect of George Fluke's pieces on people who take the time to understand his artistic language. 
 
As a child, George was a model builder of cars and airplanes.  He started sculpting in high school, focusing on metal assemblages and collage.  His parents owned a graphic design studio in San Francisco but George's interests were in fine art, specifically sculpture. He claims that everything he knows about building his art pieces came from science magazines and this is reflected in the precision engineering of many of his works.

In the mid 80's, he built a full-sized fiberglass van, a sculpture (unfortunately destroyed years later in a fire) thinking that he could improve on the regular van design by applying an artist's eye to the project.  After a period of manual labor in construction, George moved to Plumas county in 1994, acquired a property with a barn to serve as a studio and set the stage for becoming an artist.  His first piece was a plaster tubular sculpture titled "Pipe Dream," which
he entered in a local juried show and won an award.  This gave him the confidence to pursue art as more than a hobby.  He met other local artists and received very helpful advice and critiques from Marv Schmidt, former head of the art department at Feather River College.  
 
Today, George works mostly in stone, metal and fiberglass, often incorporating found objects, machine parts, driftwood, creating enigmatic, often humorous constructions which frequently hold a startling surprise. The current show of over 20 works contains both paintings and three-dimensional pieces, all complex, interesting and provocative:
 
"Calendar of Fortune" is  a spoof of the Mayan calendar doomsday predictions, it is a 3ft diameter disc which spins like a wheel of fortune.
 "Out of Gas" is  a monochromatic assemblage suggesting an engine turning a globe of the earth with an empty gas can upended beneath.
"WingPower,"   sports the look of vintage aviation insignia, a 7ft wide streamlined body displaying pistons, yet flanked by wooden wings.
 
All of George's pieces are designed to convey what he believes is the artist's duty:  informing the public by building images through metaphor.
 
   


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