Dusti Bongé Biloxi sketch

A delightful Dusti Bongé Biloxi sketch takes center stage this week in See Great Art’s partnership with the Dusti Bongé Art Foundation. Bongé was born and raised in Biloxi and spent the remaining decades of her life there as well. It is no surprise then that many of her artworks feature scenes in and around the city.

Likewise, the Dusti Bongé Art Foundation headquarters are located in Biloxi and open to the public for guests to learn more about Mississippi’s first artist to work exclusively in a Modern style.

Analysis of this week’s artwork, as always, comes from Dusti Bongé Art Foundation Executive Director Ligia M. Römer.

Dusti Bongé Biloxi sketch, United States Fidelity and Guarantee Company Yearbook – March 11, Study for Boats & Buildings on the Back Bay

This so-called “yearbook,” or datebook, from the United States Fidelity and Guarantee Company was originally for the year 1924. It must have been lying around somewhere, forgotten, until Dusti Bongé discovered it and decided that it was the perfect kind of book to carry around as a sketchbook on her many walks through Biloxi. After all, it offered almost 365 largely blank pages.

She, of course, filled them up without effort.

This datebook contains numerous pencil and charcoal drawings. Drawings depict scenes in Biloxi, shells, still lives of vegetables, nude figures, surrealist arrangements, and portraits. Some pages offer complete compositions, others barely have a few marks on them.

This sketch served as a study for a later, larger work on paper, Boats & Buildings on the Back Bay. The Back Bay of Biloxi back then was all “boats and buildings”, all in service of the tremendous seafood industry of the time.

This work offers Dusti’s signature birds-eye view of a factory building built on piles above the water, with a pier, and boats moored on either side. Boat masts and outriggers stick up and out, there appear to be nets and a flag flying in the wind. The overall composition, slightly chaotic with the building being the anchoring piece, offers an artist’s cubist vision of a very real everyday scene.

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