Duke Riley is an American artist. Riley earned a BFA in painting form the Rhode Island School of Design, and a MFA in Sculpture from the Pratt Institute. He lives in Brooklyn, New York. Duke Riley works in a variety of mediums and his work is exhibited in several museums around the world including the permanent collection of the Brooklyn Museum
Duke has been in Brooklyn for a long time.
He has seen all of it change.
He is noted for a body of work incorporating the seafarer's craft with nautical history.
He basically runs one of Brooklyn fines tattoo shops in Greenpoint and designs seafarer’s tattoos. http://eastrivertattoo.com/artists/duke
He calls attention to marginal peoples and forgotten time periods
Duke reclaiming the Lost Kingdom of Laird. A tiny island situated in the middle of the Delaware River between Philadelphia and Camden. The island was eyed for industrial development and the http://www.dukeriley.info/projects/reclaiming-the-lost-kingdom-of-laird // http://vimeo.com/63043167
He explores conflicts with institutional powers.
He trained 50 homing pigeons to fly from Havana, Cuba, to the Florida Keys carrying illicit cigars and cameras to record the journey. http://www.nytimes.com/video/arts/design/100000002499781/flying-close-to-the-law.html
Duke pursues an alternative view of hidden borderlands and their inhabitants
In 2007 he was arrested for floating his homemade submarine to close to the RMS Queen Mary 2, all for the sake of art Hans! http://www.nytimes.com/2007/08/04/arts/design/04voya.html
Throughout Duke's projects he profiles the space where water meets the land, traditionally marking the periphery of urban society, what lies beyond rigid moral constructs, a sense of danger and possibility.
Think about the film I did on Mac Premo. This new film is going to be visually edgy shot, edited and sound designed. In the narrative we’re going to search for conflicts. Duke is a complicated character, there a are many facets to his personality. Why is he on this quest. What is the guiding light that brings all his outlets and disciplines together. We aim to get at the center of that.
The neighbourhood (Brooklyn) is doing well and because of that so does his tattoo business. But how does that conflict with his art which is focussed on "addressing the prospect of residual but forgotten unclaimed frontiers on the edge and inside overdeveloped urban areas". What about the "struggle of marginal peoples to sustain independent spaces within all-encompassing societies", he talks about on his website? And what is there to say about "the tension between individual and collective behavior, the conflict with institutional power".