Alternative Facts

24 Mar — 24 Apr 2017 at Dadiani Fine Art in London, United Kingdom

23 MARCH 2017
Jesus Walking on Water, 258x166 cm, Precious Light. Courtesy of Dadiani Fine Art
Jesus Walking on Water, 258x166 cm, Precious Light. Courtesy of Dadiani Fine Art

You're tired of advertising and politicians and lawyers and salesmen and DJ's and the famous. You're tired of personalities, you'd just like somebody to tell you straight. To shoot from the hip, to not sugarcoat it. You can take that can't you?

(David Mach)

Dadiani Fine Art is delighted to present Alternative Facts, an exhibition of contemporary biblical collages by the celebrated Scottish artist David Mach.

The exhibition features Mach’s interpretation of the King James Bible and comprises 10 monumental works from the artist’s Precious Light series, for which he was awarded the Bank of Scotland Herald Angel Award in 2011. The presentation at Dadiani Fine Art marks the first time the work will be shown in a London gallery.

Mach’s collages are both visceral and thought-provoking, portraying traditional stories and imagery from the bible ranging from childhood tales like ‘Jonah and the Whale,’ to overarching religious concepts like ‘heaven’ and ‘hell,’ and setting them against a modern-day backdrop, often with a healthy twist of irony.

The radical depictions reflect the title of the exhibition, Alternative Facts, in that they present a litany of semi-truths, an askew reconstruction of reality. In today’s political landscape, the hard line between truth and lies is increasingly blurred. In using the medium of collage, Mach is able to construct an alternative version of reality, just as politicians do with their words.

Ripe with colour, carnage and apocalyptic chaos, Mach’s epic scenes, set in various cities across the globe, are at once beautiful and devastating. An example can be seen in Jesus Walking on Water – Capetown (2011). Clear, calm, turquoise seas teeming with brightly coloured fish and coral make up the lower half of the work, contrasting sharply with the bedlam depicted above the surface of the water. A young boy in green swimming trunks walks across violent waves towards a sinking ship just ahead of him, its passengers battling to stay alive as seagulls swarm in the stormy grey skies above.

Throughout the series, the viewer is left to question the harmony of the natural world in contrast with the violence and disorder of humanity.

Says director of Dadiani Fine Art, Eleesa Dadiani: ‘We are thrilled to be able to debut David’s series of stunning collages at the gallery. Using the bible as his framework, the tempestuous work makes refreshingly bold statements about contemporary society, which resonate deeply in our current political and social climate.’

David Mach was born in Fife, Scotland in 1956. He graduated from Duncan Jordanston College of Art, Dundee, Scotland and completed his MA from the Royal College of Art, London. Mach held his first solo show at Lisson gallery in London in 1982. A string of international exhibitions followed with presentations in New York, Los Angeles, Melbourne, Hong Kong, Warsaw and Tel Aviv. A nominee for the Turner Prize in 1988, the artist has also been commissioned for major public arts projects, most recently ‘Giants’ in Vinadio, Italy and ‘Phantom,’ commissioned by Morrisons supermarket for the Promenade in Mach’s hometown of Fife, Scotland. He won Glasgow’s Lord Provost Prize in 1992 and lectures frequently as a visiting professor across the UK. In 1998, Mach was elected to the RA and was appointed as a Professor of Sculpture at the Royal Academy Schools, London in 2000. He is currently Professor of Inspiration and Discovery at Duncan Jordanston College of Art, Dundee.