Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Interview with David King

Hello David King!

How would you explain your work to a blind person?

Traditional cut and paste. People often wonder if it is digital, if I used paint, or involved any other technique. By saying, “traditional cut and paste,” I want them to know that I haven’t taken the easy way out and enjoy the challenge of making it intricate and detailed.

How have your collages evolved over time?

My first collages were much simpler, more figurative, incorporated fewer elements, and contained a narrative touching on the surreal which over time became more abstract.

Your largest work?

My largest piece is 4 by 10 feet.

How do you approach a new collage?

The idea for a series is definitely in my mind before I begin. The current series is about the metaphysical energy that exists on a micro and macro level all around us. I have developed a palate of building blocks that I am using and go in with a general idea of what the composition is going to be like.

How do you know a piece is finished?

I know it is finished, when my eye keeps moving around it and doesn’t get tired. Just as painting has a balance when it is finished and I can look at my collages and ask myself, “does it need some more?” but unlike painting when you glue it you can’t paint over it.

You often allude to painting when talking about your collage process. Do you paint as well?

Never painted. But the more I do collage the more I see that the process is similar.
Mostly work with collage but will get artist in residency at the dump in july and will be working with larger scale objects and space….

Why is collage your chosen medium?

Because I’m really good at it. (smile) It’s the medium where I easily find my distinct voice. For years, I did photography but my photos always looked like someone else’s.

When did you realize that collage was your chosen medium?

Maybe in 4th grade. While gluing different cut pieces together in class my principal asked to have my collage as a piece of art in her office.

When I visit museums, I’m always drawn to the collage work. I like that each piece evokes a story.

Where do you get your materials?

I go to thrift stores and look for books. People will ask, “don’t you feel guilty about cutting this up?” and I will say, “no.” By using images from old books, I am giving life to something that would have ended up in the trash heap. By placing them out of context, I hope to be encouraging people to view old objects in a different way.

Describe this other world you are creating.

I am creating the ideal world, the soft peaceful place that we are all longing for. My quintessential image, “nearly there” (’06), was created during a place in my life when I wasn’t sure where I was. Through making collage I was able to quit my day job and felt like I had arrived at true calling. Now I can say that I am an artist and gardner.


John O’Reilly, a collage artists, that works with black and white polariods.
Fred Tomaselli creates large major scale collages and paintings. His largest piece is 10 x 30 and uses thousands of elements in to create complexity.

When I visited India in January 2008, I was inspired by the many shapes, colors, and cultural differences.

Also: artistic detail in buildings, forms in nature, and life that I see in the garden.

Favorite Exhibitions

I was included in a cluster of six solo shows at The Lab. Ritual Roasters had a solo exhibit of my work.

If you were to share your work with a blind person…

Fortunately, I would be able to say let me give you a tour and direct their finger over the grooves between the different layers of paper.

Where do you see yourself next on the map?

Next place to approach for exhibitions is LA.

Next places to travel:

Southern tip of Chile where it is desolate beauty, natural large open spaces
Hawaii (a good beach vacation)


Anonymous said...

I have seen David King's work in-person at Open Studios and it is fantastic. A great attention to detail, real understanding of composition, and just beautiful and engaging to look at.

Thanks for the read! Great to hear his (verbal) voice.

Libby Nicholaou said...

Yeah, I agree. David knows his medium and how to use it well, for personal expression.