Winner of the prestigious Towry Award at the 2011 National Open Art Competition, self-taught artist David Whittaker is a strong and truly unique talent in contemporary painting.
As a small boy growing up in Newquay, Whittaker recalls the hours he spent fascinated by a print of Constable's The Hay Wain that his parents owned. While his works betray Constable as a source of inspiration – detailed landscapes are a trademark of many of his pieces - Whittaker's beautifully rendered landscapes collide with heads or ‘portals’ amidst a chaos of brush strokes, mark-making and thick paint that is reminiscent of Bacon’s abstract portraiture. An example of the artist’s portrait/landscape hybrid style is seen in Your words are carried, an homage to Daphne du Maurier, where a Cornish landscape morphs into a portrait of the author; the swans as her eyes and her lips created by violently bright oils.
Using the head, human psyche and his own identity (Whittaker was diagnosed with Gender Dysphoria in 2009) as a starting point for the content of his works, the artist explores a world of opposites: calm and conflict, hopes and fears, conscious and subconscious, male and female. These are Whittaker’s key tools for unlocking his true identity through his work and documenting his own struggle with the masculine and feminine.
In Glimpse, we see a unique set of detailed, emotional, abstract and surreal works rendered in oils, acrylic and collage that reflect Whittaker’s trademark juxtaposition of painterly landscapes enclosed by chaotic and abstract layers of oil paint.
The exhibition is presented by Eddie Lock & Beautiful Crime and hosted by Gallery Different.