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Thoughts While Riding a Trike

by D.J. (Dee J.) Lafon

Oil on canvas
Dimensions: 46 x 44
Purchased through a National Endowment for the Arts grant, 1972

Thoughts While Riding a Trike by D.J. (Dee J.) Lafon

The Artwork

This figurative painting appears comical as the artist realistically rendered a nearly life-size man wearing military attire riding a child's tricycle with labeled descriptions of the various parts. Upon further inspection, the painting becomes more serious. Painted with a trompe l'oeil technique, or in a manner that fools the eye, a piece of paper in the lower right corner expresses the desire to see a brother return from war.

The Artist

Dee J. Lafon was born in Ogden, Utah in 1929 and took an early interest in art. He received his Bachelor of Fine Arts and Master of Fine Arts in Painting and Drawing from the University of Utah, Salt Lake City, in 1960 and 1962, respectively. He worked as an illustrator and taught painting and drawing before assuming the Chairmanship of the Art Department at East Central University in Ada in 1964. Following his retirement from that position in 1984, he established a studio in Norman and devoted himself to his artwork. He served as the Visual Arts Director for the Oklahoma Arts Institute and a Guest Artist at Wichita State University in 1990. Lafon has been the recipient of many honors and awards including an Oklahoma Governor’s Arts Award in 1992. He presented his work in numerous solo and group exhibitions and his work has been acquired by many galleries, museums, and public collections including the State Art Collection of Utah, the University of North Carolina Art Museum, Springfield Art Museum, Oklahoma City Art Museum, Philbrook Museum of Art, Southwestern Bell Telephone, Conoco, and Koch Industries. He also completed various public commissions for Warner Brothers, University of Oklahoma School of Dentistry, and the Ada Public Library, among others.