What can art enthusiasts expect to see from you at eMerge?
At eMerge, I will be showing ‘Greenpoint Sky’, one piece from a series of paintings I have been working on for the past two years entitled ‘LOGO’S IN THE SKY.’ The composition has a townhouse style building jutting into frame, dominated by sky, which, from a distance, looks like any regular sunny day in the Spring. Upon closer inspection, it’s made up of corporate logos. The concept for this group of pieces stems from the notion that advertising has become so omnipresent to our psyche, that it is becoming a ubiquitous part of the landscape. If advertisers had their way, the sky could become a blank canvas for ads.
The series culminates with a piece titled, ‘Texas Billboard’ (http://www.davidhollier.org/logos-in-the-sky/texasbillboard_2010/).
This piece depicts a billboard straddling a typical American highway [in this particular case, somewhere between Fort Worth and Dallas]. The atmospheric, storm-potent sky is made up of literally hundreds of corporate logos. The skyline is punctured by the monolithic billboard, which displays an ordinary sunny sky scene; suggesting that as our surroundings become so infiltrated with corporate sponsorship, maybe we require billboards displaying natural scenes, just to remind us what they originally looked like.
At what age did you declare yourself an artist?
When I was about 6 years old, my father drew me a picture of three dinosaurs on the back cover of his work notepad. I remember being blown away by the fact that he’d drawn them himself. I knew that dinosaurs no longer existed, so these images took on a reality that has never left me; the notion that one can make something out of nothing, just using pencil and paper. Since that day, all I have ever wanted to do was draw and paint, and create my own realities.
I sold my first painting at the age of about 15, at a gift and tea shop owned by one of my aunts. It was a watercolor of a moorland view of the New Forest in England. I remember thinking that, maybe, my aunt had influenced the buyer, and was obviously biased towards her nephew, but I didn’t care. All I cared about was the fact that somebody outside my direct family had a painting of mine up on their wall.
What is your proudest accomplishment to date?
I guess my proudest accomplishment to date [other than the birth of my fantastic 8-year-old daughter] was the first painting I sold through Apart Gallery (http://ap-art.co.uk) in London. The buyer was Paul Weller, an influential British celebrity, lead singer of The Jam and The Style Council and respected pop art collector. Both the gallery owner, Adrian Palengat, and I were very pleased.
What is your greatest inspiration?
I am influenced and inspired by so many things that it would be impossible to list them all or select one as dominant. What I can say is that although I gain a lot from fellow artists and their work, I get far more inspiration from realms outside the art world. Just looking around at the things that we as human beings, have created juxtaposed against what nature has provided us is an endless resource to me. In fact, I am becoming more and more interested by the relationship between manmade and natural entities, and between science and theology. It seems to me that as knowledge grows, these areas intertwine.
How do others describe your work?
I’m really not sure how others describe my work, other than the obvious — that’s it very graphical. I hope people consider it accomplished and beautiful. Despite having numerous styles, I hope that people consider it unique.
What kind of satisfaction do you get from your work? What kind of satisfaction do you want me to get?
I get tremendous satisfaction from my work. To me, it is the being and the end, what I was put here to do. As I mentioned, from a very early age, the concept of, by merely putting pen to paper, creating one’s own reality is very important to me. I am not a very literal person, so painting is my way of expressing myself and my ideas. Also, the process is very meditational and to that extent medicinal. Two very important attributes of my work are aesthetics and symbolism. I want to portray the beauty in the things I see around me, whether they be made by us, nature or something else. This beauty is both visual and emotional. This is the satisfaction I want.