Still life of a preening decoy. Signed lower right "J. Cibula". Dated verso 1986. 
Biography: Joseph Cibula was born in 1946 in Meriden, Connecticut. As a small child, he spent many hours at his parents' restaurant, and one of his earliest memories is that of a frequent customer who showed him how to draw. Young Cibula soon proved to have a natural gift for painting and drawing, and these early encounters laid the foundation for a passionate love of art. 
In 1966, Cibula enrolled in the Paier College of Art in Hamden, Connecticut, known for its highly skilled professors and trompe l'oeil style of painting. At Paier, he studied both minimalism and trompe l'oeil, and he developed a lifelong admiration for the work of Andrew Wyeth.    (PA-884)
Note 1:  After finishing school, he went to work in an advertising agency. He soon found the structure of corporate advertising was unrewarding, and in a life-changing moment, he left his job to paint. In 1984, a painting of a duck decoy earned the artist the prestigious Massachusetts Duck Stamp Contest, and today, antique decoys rendered in exquisite detail in oil and watercolor remain a frequent subject. Throughout his career, Cibula's love of folk art, modern art and realism have led him to create a body of work that is stylistically superb and wholly unique. In addition to decoys, he frequently uses antique toys, tropical fish and boats as his subjects.
Note 2:  In 1986 the auctioneer Richard Oliver in Maine auctioned the Elmer Crowell decoy of a "Preening Pintail Drake". During the auction preview Cibula had an opportunity to study and draw the bird and it appears in front of the chest in this painting which was completed within a few months of the sale. The bird sold in 1986 for $319,000. On January 18, 2003 another Crowell preening pintail drake sold for $801,500.
Acrylic, 14" x 23" sight. Framed 24" x 33".
Condition: Excellent.