Vietnamese born Duy Huynh creates poetic and contemplative acrylic paintings. Drawing inspiration from a variety of storytellers in formats that range from music and movies to ancient folklore and comic book adventures – much of Duy’s work is deeply personal. His clever and often times humorous use of symbolism and wordplay invites the viewer to create their own storyline.
Themes of geographical and cultural displacement are prevalent in Duy’s artwork. Ethereal characters maintain a serene, precarious balance, often in a surreal or dreamlike setting. With his figures, Duy explores motion along with emotion in order to portray not just the beauty of the human form, but also the triumph of the human spirit. Images that recur, such as boats, trains, suitcases, and anything with the ability of flight relate to travel, whether physical or spiritual.
Many of Duy’s paintings are hybrid dreamscapes filled with melodic manifestations and flowering fragments that transcend limitations of logic, born from an attempt to literally and symbolically connect fluid patterns in nature/wildlife with that of human made aspirations. The goal is to nurture a visual language that evokes a sense of wonderment while celebrating the fragility of a precarious life.
Throughout his career, Duy has developed a number of themes, concepts, and even titles that he holds near and dear to his heart. From time to time, he enjoys revisiting and reinterpreting them, with an attempt to either simplify or further explore and expand on the original idea.
Duy’s interest in art began shortly after his arrival to the States in the early eighties. With difficulties adapting to new surroundings and language, he took refuge in the art of comics, cartoons, and graffiti. His first art commission came in the third grade when a classmate hired him to draw the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Payment came in the form of 2 dollars and chocolate milk for the week. More importantly, Duy learned it was possible to make a connection through the use of a visual language. This simple experience serves as a reminder for him even today to always enjoy and maintain his childhood love.
After graduating from UNC Charlotte with a degree in painting and illustration, Duy’s main objective was to share his work with the public. He began painting murals and showing his work in a variety of public establishments, including restaurants, coffee shops, bars and music venues. He has also explored the performance aspect of painting, often times collaborating with musicians and dancers to create works of art in front of an audience – most notably with the innovative dance company Moving Poets Charlotte and the globally recognized band Linkin Park.
Today Duy works as a full-time artist and continues to reach the public with his work. His artwork is often licensed for book and cd cover art, featured in magazines, and more. Working with a San Francisco, CA based wholesale art publisher, some of his images are available as reproductions and can be found in shops worldwide. His original paintings can be found in several galleries around the country, including Lark & Key Gallery and Boutique in Charlotte NC, which he co-owns with his wife Sandy Snead.
*All images on website © Duy Huynh and/or ©Lark and Key Llc.