Artist DD LaRue has made a career out of pushing the envelope. Many adjectives have been used to describe her mixed-media sculptures but mundane is sure not one of them. Rather, her work has been called anything from whimsical to challenging to mischievous to downright transcendental.
LaRue is best known for her work depicting happy, sculpted dogs hanging their heads out of real Volkswagen car doors. Yes, life-sized dogs and life-sized car doors. The same kind you would see driving down the road. LaRue’s work grabs your attention in the same manner that a happy hound halfway out of the window while cruising down the freeway does. Put simply, you can’t help but look!
Her specialty is in creating animals, a subject matter she uses to, “help bring their sense of eloquent grace and psychic vitality to our often nature-sterile environments.” LaRue continues, saying, “Because the relationship between dogs and humans is the oldest and most complex alliance between two species, they provide unique metaphors to the human condition. Exploring the human-dog connection through my anthropomorphic canines, I intend to provide an illuminating mirror for us, the “dominant species.” As such, LaRue’s work can range from the completely bizarre (how about a beagle covered in fruits and veggies?) to the hyper-realistic dogs hanging out of car windows. LaRue’s 40 years of working with dogs have provided her with a deep understanding of both their anatomical form and emotional nature. Her work captures both perfectly.
LaRue typically works in a medium she calls neo-cartonnage. Neo-cartonnage is based on cartonnage, an ancient technique used by the Egyptians to create wraps to cover mummified bodies. The Egyptians used layers of linen, glue and paint to spruce up their mummies. LaRue added a few of her own materials like wire, fiberglass and enamel and began creating away.