HU: Hang-Up has the honour of exhibiting the first piece released from a new series you are working, Chimp I, at our Launch Show. The series explores the juxtaposition between young and old primates. What was it that drew you to this subject and what are you learning as you explore it?

 

DW: I spent a great deal of time this year researching first hand the incredible characters and differences in behaviour young and old primates display at zoos and wildlife parks. Their fragility in our world and their environment, at every age, is overwhelming and I just wanted to try and capture their spirit. The differences in colour, texture, pigmentation and pattern between young and old has made me really change up some processes that are my go to techniques. The weathered and worn faces take a great deal of layering and time to get right.
The Old Chimp at Hang Up is a real milestone in where my work is headed at the moment.

Sketching out Chimp I... 

First layer of paint applied...

Adding more layers of colour... 

 

HU: ‘Natural Selection’ was the first exhibition where you began using your artwork to bring awareness to endangered species. What was the catalyst that triggered your interest with this subject matter begin?

 

DW: At University I had always explored animals in my work, although very different in appearance and character, you can see an evolution of where I am now. Ever since being a child animals have been a massive part go my life and I've never lost that sense of wonder and amazement when I see them. The trigger to revisit them came very organically after the sneaker series ended. I became incredibly interested in Native American spirit guides and was fascinated by the symbolism and power of specific animals in my Americana series. That was where I revisited them for the first time in fifteen years and as my style had developed, I was intrigued as to how to develop a controversially unpopular subject matter into a different contemporary existence. When I started then, there were very few contemporary artists engaged with the study of animals, it was really quite taboo to undertake. Now as the environmental issues are so pressing, internationally you will see animals and wildlife are regaining a level of respect and acknowledgment that they deserve. That for me was one of the main challenges as an artist, exploring a unique visual identify and portraying the essence of characters and vulnerability which can be a hard balance to find. However, as I have pushed myself and my work in the studio, I feel that every piece is a step closer to my original goal and intention. The Old Chimp piece that you have is a culmination of years of hard work and application.

Chimp I complete in Dave White's studio. 

 

HU: You were in Tokyo this Summer to unveil and celebrate your collaboration and pop-up show with Atmos. Can you tell us a bit about working on this collaborative line with Atmos and the experience of visiting Tokyo for the opening of the show.

 

DW: Atmos are famous for their usage of animal patterns on their colabs with Nike and Jordan sneakers, I guess it was a perfect match really, taking sections of patterns from camouflage details of my paintings which related to their latest Nike release was really interesting. We really wanted to surprise folks and make people really comment on the quality of what was produced in the capsule collection. The t shirts patterns were actually embroidered rather than screened but looked exactly like the painted textures. Japan has always been at the forefront of streetwear and we wanted to make sure something very new and exciting was offered. It was great to exhibit and be back there again.

 

atmos Japan x Dave White

A recap of the atmos x Dave White Exhibition and Apparel launch at the new Atmos Sendagaya gallery/store in Tokyo. Special thanks to Atmos Japan.


HU: You have a new collection of paintings launching in 2020, details of which have been kept quiet. We know you can’t say much… Can you hint at what we may expect to see in 3 words?

 

DW: I really enjoy social media and think its an amazing tool, a device for fun and communication but these days the world moves so fast and something that’s presented as new is ancient news by the time its released and presented. I've decided to go completely dark with this new series and want maximum impact when they drop next year. So 3 words…. 2020 it begins!

Dave White in action. 

HU: What has been your proudest moment as an artist?

 

DW: I lost my Dad in the week of my graduation 25 years ago, but he got to see my first success as an artist after winning a competition and was very proud.

Lion Cub, 2018, edition of 50. 

Thank you for taking the time to answer all our questions Dave.

And thank you for reading. To browse available works by Dave White be sure to click here. And don't forget you can catch Dave White's latest painting on display at Hang-Up's Launch Show. Be sure to visit the gallery Monday-Friday, between 11 am and 6 pm. As always don't hesitate to get in touch with any questions. 

 

Till next time,

Hang-Up Team. 

 

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