In this exhibit we see David’s visions of the Cosmic take form. His colors merge and undulate like huge galaxies. This renowned African American artist believes that “The sign of a genuine work of art is that it can stir our unconscious feelings and past emotional experiences, while inspiring self-awareness and cultural integrity.” David is recognized as a major contributor to the art of the 21st century because of his brilliant manner in which he visualizes his objects and scenes.
He regards works done by legendary collagist, Romare Bearden, and European masters Pablo Picasso, Braque, and Henry Matisse in helping to inspire the unique style used in his paintings. Richard Watson–curator of African American Museum of Art states: “David Lawrence approaches the realm of cosmic influences as a point of departure for his creative platform. References to the ancient civilization of Kemet, the mysteries of the pyramids and the forces of nature are the threads by which he constructs his visions of creation and humanity”.
The Cosmos Is Within
Stop by the gallery on Jan 12 5-8pm to meet the artist and experience his works.
This exhibit gathers together in the gallery a diverse group of artists. Great works by painters, photographers and digital artwork grace the walls. To view their previous exhibits go to our previous exhibits page and click on the link for each artist.
On Tues Oct 13 from 6:00pm – 8:00pm you will have an opportunity to meet the artists and engage them in conversation about their past show and their current works.
Throughout the past 15 years of my artwork, I have often found myself creating work based on a sense of either nostalgia for the past or imaginings of how the past affects each of us.
In more recent years my works have focused on the point where identity and impermanence come together. Looking back over these memory based art works, I see that they, too, are about identity. How our past, how our memories of things mitigate and modify our experiences and choices, this over time, is what becomes our identity. Who we are is an almost an alchemical brew of things partly based on the actual and partly based on the vagueness of the remembered. I hope these works will give you pause to consider this in your own lives.
Time has always been my obsession. I think about its infinite passage, how seconds grow into minutes, that become days, that add up to years that flas by in an instant. Albert Einstein said “time is an illusion”, leaving me to ponder whether or not it’s real or does it only exist in my imagination. Is it possible to determine that invisible line that exists in the nano-second between the past and the present? The essence of time is a concept I have addressed sins I first picked up a camera, often reworking images I’ve taken in the past while utilizing new processing techniques.
Taking photographs becomes my only way to capture a moment in time, where the present instantly becomes the past. Memory and mood allows the viewer to peek into a world where it’s impossible to determine if my work was created today or years ago. There is an ambiguity that leaves traces of reality or illusion, and in the pieces I have included in this show I try to evoke feelings of memory.
I use various papers and toning processes and the observer is never sure if the subjects exist in the past or present. In addition to my photography, I create photo-based mixed media pieces, combining various traditional and digital art media with my images. I print my images on an inkjet printer on natural fine art papers instead of traditional inkjet paper, and digitally tone them. Some are hand colored with art media like pastel and pencil, others are painted in the computer using digital brushes and paint. Additional media may be added including wax to create photo encaustics for a softer, more ethereal effect.
Ironically, I use current technological devices like my iPhone to create images reminiscent of vintage photos to look like they were created a hundred years ago. I like to have the viewer wonder where technology begins or ends.
His canvases take over the gallery. Huge, colorful paintings, they make a bold statement about his inner world. This is what he says about himself in relation to the act of painting:
“I love painting. Paint is fabulously plastic and malleable to the imagination. I have been painting steadily for 28 years. I love experimenting within its parameters and I don’t care what is or isn’t popular. I don’t care about having a style or repeating myself in order to have a marketable product. At this point painting is integral to what I am. It started with drawing in childhood and blossomed into a full blown obsession in early adulthood. It metastasized and spread throughout my system, it is in my veins, my nerve endings, my synapses, my body chemistry; it is my pleasure and my pain. Painting is a symbiote, a strange rider I cannot escape.”
No pretense here. No artist ego, just a gut felt truth, a passion that pulses in his veins. You can see the experimental side in paintings such as “Easy”,
the imagination part in “Guardian”
and the love of paint in the not named one and Blue Spatter.
His “Say What?” at 68” x 96” takes over the entire end wall of the gallery – a statement that the artist is not afraid of “putting it out there” for all to see.
Images on this website can’t do these justice. You have to see them up close to appreciate what Dave has achieved. And also go close and look at the paint strokes themselves. Surprises abound on the micro level. So during the terribly dull cold days of this winter I’d recommend you stop down and be surrounded by color…your spirits will definitely be lifted!