David Spear



Artist Statement

My artistic philosophy is based on versatility, experimentation, and collaboration. A versatility of techniques, concepts and approach to art keeps it fresh, intriguing and allows me the chance to work on different groups of projects while circumventing pitfalls of being typecast into gimmick role. This is accomplished by routinely researching art history and contemporary work along with consistently searching for ways to improve or experiment with techniques and genres. Although seemingly diverse, these multiple methods of working weave through one another creating a broad opus of works that bind into my own interrelated, visual language.

The most recognized style is based on the influential traditions of the Regionalist artists. Utilizing this inherent tradition speaks to my aesthetic roots and the visual heritage of my community. This style and approach to painting provides viewers with a nostalgic, romantic view of our present day social landscape while subtly touching on contemporary issues, such as life in the service industry, environmental outlooks or political situations.

Other methods are used when collaborating with the public. One uses a device called “Crazy Dave’s Centripetal Line Generator.” Developed out of a conversation between Pollack and Ernst, this device is essentially a large pendulum that leaves lines of paint. The device lets individuals touch the device as it swings, change the trajectory of the line and therefore become a collaborative artist of the painting. Another method involves tracing random silhouettes of participants/collaborators. These silhouettes become the structural basis of the abstract painting I finish later. These experimental, interactive paintings act as educational tools that promote the arts and art historical education.

Beyond these methods is the work of Harrison Bergeron. Bergeron is a character developed from the polygenesis, trickster archetype, with traits appropriated from artistic biographies, mythologies, and literature. Like his character, his artwork is molded from historical references and bound to contemporary implications with the goal of causing viewers to question preconceived historical and modern “truths”. These works extend beyond just painting and incorporate film, animation, and performance, fully submerging the viewer into an informational deluge. Bergeron is a skeptical critique of man’s repetitive, habitual follies, showing that the calamities festering within contemporary politics have antecedent similarities.

Experimenting with an array of artistic philosophies and possibilities is a privilege of this post-modern era. Through innovation, experimentation and collaboration we now have opportunities to participate in an assortment of explorations, some frightening and others endearing. Through this variety, I attempt to make art that inspires, educates, and critically examines the current human condition