David A. French
David A. French Artist Statement:
I was diagnosed with cancer in 2000. Today I am cancer free. This personally painful experience profoundly shaped me as an individual and artist. This event informs my artwork today. I do not try to represent those moments I had. I find myself creating imagery in order to make sense of certain things that have occurred or I wish to occur. In the face of personal oblivion, I wish to locate myself. I chose to work with oil paint on stretched linen or acrylics / inks on paper, primarily because of their fluid, fleshy, visceral and organic quality, not unlike the body. The painting surface is a skin, the illusory depth a body in space.
I have developed a process of applying paint that acts as a signifier of identity and cultural concerns. Over the three decades of producing non-objective painting, I have worked to create a bridge between gestural abstraction and process painting. Relational and non-relational painting experimentation has enabled me to nuance a language between mechanical automation and personal expression.
I am most interested in staging a celebratory and investigative relationship between the essential parts of Painting and me the artist. The essential painters’ toolbox consists of the flat surface, red, yellow, blue and white. I think of my interaction with these basic materials as a collaborator and sculptor. I equate my physical action to those tool box components, everything contributes proportionally. The paint provides optical structure; I provide human agency.
The pallet is skipped in these works, in an effort to work more directly with the essential materials. Working in a manner where I do not represent something, I touch on the very essences of Painting.
I only have a tool box, a given set of materials, certain abilities, knowledge and my burning desire to make something with imperfect hands. I am searching for the best way forward in a beautiful and fluid foreign surrounding. Things occurred, are still occurring, and have yet to occur. I think of my work in relation to this phenomenon. We can only perceive a small slice of what is happening around us. My work appears to have been frozen in time, coming from somewhere, maybe just out of the picture plane and about to move forward past that moment. The work draws strength from this juxtaposition. I hope that the experience in viewing my artwork will revolve around this particular sense of heightened awareness.