143 New Bond Street, First Flo
Most people’s first job involved burgers and fries. David walker’s first job was creating t-shirt designs for The Prodigy. After that, he started designing record sleeves and party art before running his own street wear label called “Subsurface” for five years. It was only three years ago that he started painting. (Pretty impressive he’s accomplished all of that considering he’s broken his hand over 10 times!) Once a fan of only black and white (with a little bit of pink thrown in for good measure), David now paints with in explosions of colour following his discovery of a little treasure box of spraypaint tucked away in a studio. His portraits are realistically surreal – the sort of images that make you stare for ages. Which aspects of London life most influence your creativity and how? I like the randomness of cities and the anticipation that anything can happen (good or bad) and that in turn you can make things happen. I have lived in small towns where there is just not the same sense of possibility, so this is very inspirational for me. I feel privileged to be making art full time and the speed in which this city can move pushes me forward. Faces are the main subject of your work. Who are the people you paint? Do you know them? I don’t know them at all. I like that they’ve never met me and they don’t know they’re being painted. I use found photography, old magazines, the web, snapshots, anything that’s not staged by me. The fact that the subjects are unknown also allows people to make up there own narrative to the portraits. Tell us about your approach to your work, your unique “no brushes” style and your choice of fantastic vibrant colours. I’m drawn towards the idea of making something beautiful out of what could be classed as lo-brow materials and methods. I don’t use brushes because I want the pieces to raise a question about graffiti and traditional painting as there can be strong preconceived ideas about both. People are normally quite surprised the work is made from spray paint and I think many are also surprised they actually like the work when its outside on a wall; suddenly they have connected with a scene that they previously had no time for at all. As for colours, I’ve gone from two extremes. For two years, I only painted in black, white and pink (as it was cheaper and allowed me to concentrate on the subject more), then I came across a box of random coloured spray paint that had been buried in the studio and started exploring as many colours as I could and all at once. It just felt right at the time and it’s been a lot of fun. Favourite memory of painting on the walls of London? Pretty much every time I paint outside, someone comes up to me at the end of the day and says “I saw you doing this earlier and I thought it was gonna be a right load of old crap, but I like it now. Nice one.” I think this is a great compliment. Which piece are you most proud of at the moment and why? I’m really happy with this one (above). There were probably at least ten times I wanted to throw it off the fire escape. It finally came together the night before it had to be delivered to a show, so I was glad she made it. It’s not been easy between me and her. You’re part of the Scrawl Collective. Tell us about this group and how you contribute. It’s a bunch of artists with different styles and practises. We all dip in and out of it I guess. We do shows here and there, projects come up or one of us might get an idea and get others involved or sometimes nothing happens at all… It’s the 10th anniversary soon, so there are rumours we may be getting something together. Do you prefer exhibiting in galleries or on the street? They both have there positives and negatives. Walls are great because you have room to be very expressive and lots of people get to see the painting. With gallery work you get to spend time developing techniques and immerse yourself without anyone watching you. I try to balance both but I need to get outside more next year. Which other London-based artists do you admire? So many for so many different reasons. At this very moment: Adam Neate, Will Barras, Polly Morgan, Christopher Moon, Arth Daniels Any big plans for 2011? I may be doing a major solo show late 2011. I’m still toying with the idea, so we’ll see what happens. Interview by Stephanie Sadler
Berlin-based urban painter, David Walker, is a staple on the streets of London and Berlin and is the most recent artist to have been picked by l’association to make Le M.U.R., creating one of his signature emotive portraits. Ludovica Giulianini reports on Walker’s true work of art. Over 140 artists have made ephemeral artworks on the wall since it’s inauguration in 2007, but few have matched the beauty of Walkers’ portrait on this three by eight metre former billboard set aside by the city council for the purpose of promoting street art. Painting portraits is probably the most difficult challenge for artists. Not because of the problems they might encounter in representing the real face of a person, but because of the quasi-impossibility of reproducing the aura of that person and the emotions flowing from a facial expression, from a glimpse. There are millions of quotes from artists about the difficulty of painting portraits. But when I looked at David Walkers’ works there is only one quote that came to my mind: “A portrait, to be a work of art, neither must nor may resemble the sitter. The painter has within himself the landscapes he wishes to produce. To depict a figure one must not paint that figure; one must paint its atmosphere.” Umberto Boccioni (1882-1916), Italian Futurist painter and sculptor. Technical Manifesto of Futurist Painting, 1910. Even though David Walker still paints that figure, it is the atmosphere he is able to reproduce around that figure that makes of his portraits, works of art. He depicts feelings and emotions and reproduces them in a vortex of dancing colours. The sensation you prove while looking at his work, after you realise that there is a face coming out that mass of apparently random lines, is of real serenity. By the years, David Walker has developed a very unique technique. He paints freehand with spray cans. He does not use brushes and the results, under a technical point of view, are some of the most astonishing of this genre. By Ludovica Giulianini
Mahatma Gandhi's historic Dandi March speech, converted into a monumental sculpture by Mumbai-based artist Jitish Kallat, is among 50 artworks slated to go under the block to help fund free art education and free admission at the Saatchi Gallery here. Kallat's "Public Notice 2", a fibreglass sculpture is part of the "Thinking Big" exhibition and sale, which the gallery is holding in collaboration with auction house Christie's, at the venue of a huge former postal depot in central London. The event, coincides with Frieze Art Fair in October 2013. "We have been working with the Saatchi Gallery on this project for about a year now. This exhibition and auction will be pioneering in that all the works will be offered without estimate or reserve," Francis Outred, Christie's Head of Post-War and Contemporary Art, Europe, said in a statement. Payment terms of at least three months are available to public institutions. Major sculpture and installation from across the last 20 years including Young British Artists (YBAs), such as Tracey Emin and the Chapman brothers, as well as newer talents such as Toby Ziegler, Kader Attia and Conrad Shawcross among others have been featured in the upcoming show. "The artists come from five different continents and the exhibition and auction will be a fundamental celebration of the sculpture in the 21st century. Thinking Big refers to the huge ambition and imagination of the artists here, as much as it does to the scale of their work, and to the power of educating young people about art," Outred said. Kallat's "Public Notice 2" that was exhibited in the Hall of Nations in Washington in 2011, created in 2007 and consists of 4479 painted fibreglass parts and its dimensions are variable. Kallat has reimagined every word of Gandhi's rallying speech before the Dandi March, held to protest the salt tax instituted by British rule. The 39-year-old artist has recreated the entire speech in a bone-shaped alphabet placed on saffron yellow walls in blocks that resemble pages of a vast book. The Saatchi Gallery which turns 30 in 2015, was the first art space in the UK to show a whole host of artists before they became household names from Jeff Koons and Bruce Nauman to Andreas Gursky, Sigmar Polke and Damien Hirst. During the last five years it has shown new art from India the Middle East, China, Russia, Germany and the US. The auction "is designed to support art education and free admission, it enables young people from all backgrounds to gain access to contemporary art, high quality teaching and educational events".
follow & like us on
Bench: 102 x 16 /In
Art: [art work wale dimensions]