Collage as an art form was introduced to the canon of Modern Art by such masters as Picasso, Braque and Kurt Schwitters. Using the classical ripping and gluing techniques as well as the contemporary technology of digital montage, Burlington/Plattsburgh artist David Powell combines images from diverse sources including comic books, scientific treatises and advertising to present evocative and colorful works that have a hook.
The show features work from several bodies of work including The Progress Report and Between Soft Machines and Hard Science. A large collage on board, Everybody Loves McMoney from the Big Art Corpus displays Powell’s acerbic take on history as presented by ripped and layered posters. Also included are new works from an homage to Dick Tracy and a series that references Martha Stewart.
The diversity of work presented here is not just about beauty; it has both meaning and wit. A common thread of cultural and social commentary runs through this collection of work and unites it, without resorting to polemics or bumper-sticker slogans.
The work will be on view until the end of June. There will be an artist’s reception and presentation on Friday June 19th from 5 -7 pm. Artist’s talk at 6:30
David Powell was born in Sowega, a military-industrial part of the "New South" where he spent his youth in a suburbia carved from a pecan grove and surrounded by US Navy Nike Hercules installations, a Stategic Air Command US Air Force Base and the largest Marine Corps Supply Center east of the Mississippi River. From age 10 to 14 he attended the Wally Hill Art School, a school run by a transplanted Yankee beret-wearing, goatee-sporting hipster who had a musical duo featuring him on Hammond B-3 and his wife Kelley on drums. From this cradle of safety he went to the University of Georgia where he received a BFA in Drawing and Painting.
After graduating he lived in London and Ibiza, showing at the Sigi Krauss Gallery, in both group exhibitions and a solo show. Returning to the states he formed Wonder Graphics in Athens, Georgia, and did design work for the recording industry.
A subsequent move to Vermont led to the formation of Porcupine Graphix, more design work and continued showing of his art, which became increasingly digitally based after the advent of the first macs in the mid 80's.
Powell is now Associate Professor of Art at SUNY Plattsburgh in Plattsburgh, New York and splits his time between Plattsburgh and Burlington, Vermont.
Most of the work in this show
"were constructed in Photoshop from diverse source materials that range from Diderot's Encyclopedia to outmoded school science texts. Old Life magazines, architecture books, anthologies of bizarre devices and numerous other books provide further material for creating combinations that invite new interpretation and analysis.
The use of digital montage has become my primary medium for art making, though I sometimes use old cut-and-paste methodology along with traditional drawing and painting tools. The beauty of the digital medium for me is that it can become just another tool in my art kit. It does not necessarily replace traditional media, it just augments them." W. David Powell