a r t m eets fin e c ra fts ma nship in Andre Durand’s plaster creations As resident artist at construction company Fabu-Wall-ous Solutions, Andre Durand works with centuries-old techniques to liven up spaces throughout Northern New Mexico. Using water-based plaster, Durand paints murals and abstract art in kitchens, offices, living spaces, and bedrooms. He’s created mountains, beaches, and every imaginable decorative element on ceilings, kiva fireplaces, walls, and even fan blades. Born in South Africa, Durand studied fine art at the University of Pretoria and moved to Santa Fe from Minneapolis about 10 years ago. He was painting canvases on his own but working with faux finishes to pay his bills when he met Bill Deuschle, co-owner of FabuWall-ous, who suggested he combine his talents. “I ended up painting the ceiling Andre Durand in Bill’s house,” Durand says. “We started talking and got really excited about the possibilities.” “It’s rare to find someone who can be artistic and work in construction with us—it’s hard to find that combination in a person,” says Chuck Caswell, who co-owns Fabu-Wall-ous with Deuschle. The pair brought Durand, who helps with plastering and other work in addition to painting, on staff full-time in 2010.
Above: Durand conceptualized this mural with a customer who, the artist says, “wanted to feel like she was sitting in a tree in her office”; left: Duran and one of his paintings, created with Akrostucco, an Italian Venetian plaster.
Durand stresses that he prefers to work with clients, rather than for them. In one instance, a homeowner for whom he was creating a partition helped him sculpt it. “She said she had always wanted to be creative,” Durand recalls. “Maybe it was a question of confidence, but she took over half way through.” Durand considers his job a great creative outlet and especially enjoys the variety. “I get bored with one medium quickly,” he says. “I like to combine all of the them, and I have the ability to translate someone’s words into a vision.”—Samantha Schwirck december 2011 /january 2012
Published on Nov 10, 2011