Dusti Bongé minimalist watercolor

Thanks again to the Dusti Bongé Art Foundation for sharing another of her wonderful paintings with us. Each week, Dusti Bongé Art Foundation shares a different piece of art with us to enjoy.

Analysis of the Dusti Bongé minimalist watercolor comes from Ligia Römer, PhD, Executive Director at the Dusti Bongé Art Foundation, with offices located in Biloxi and open to visitors for discovery.

By: Ligia Römer

Socca’s Farm, 1979, felt-tip pen on paper 8” x 5”

This very minimalist work by Dusti Bongé is her memory of the pine tree farm her father O.J. Swetman, nicknamed Socca, had outside of Biloxi. The family lived on the beach in Biloxi, but they had a pine tree farm where she would often spend time with her father (who was a banker). 

It seems that in the late 1970s when Dusti created this piece it was perhaps a time of reflection on an era, and environment, largely changed or even gone. It is testament to her deep attachment to the Gulf Coast region, and to her family’s history and legacy here. Socca’s farm was a part of her experience growing up and it is interesting to see how certain memories of people and places forever stay with you and what feelings they may invoke. 

This piece distills the pine tree farm to its very essence. The pines were planted here to be harvested for lumber, hence the place solely contained tall slender trees, uninterrupted by any other flora. As such it was a place unlike any other Gulf Coast landscape in the woods or along the bayous, places she also appreciated for their beauty. This farm offered a different kind of beauty and a peacefulness, partly because of its purity and sparsity, and partly because of its personal association with her father and how important it was to him.

On a different note, this work also offers evidence of the fact that having by now had a long career of over 40 years, Dusti was still always seeing things anew. Capturing the sense of the pine farm with a pale blue wash and sparingly few vertical green felt-tip marks, she offers us a completely abstract interpretation of a very real place, one that likely she would not have rendered this way 40 years earlier.

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