Born in Manchester, David's latest works develop his mixed-media collages by exploiting textures, materials and fabrics to 3D or accidented effect. Inspired by artists like Eva Hesse, Anselm Kiefer, Lucas Samaras, Mark Dion, and Louise Neverson, he uses found objects, containers, debris, and humble materials. He explores the porous divide between abstraction and representation in pursuit of the power of associative suggestion. He finds beauty in detritus, and seeks to reveal it by enhancing the dictates of its form, often anthropomorphic in nature. Much of his work has been inspired by Brassai's photographic documentation of graffiti in Paris of the 1930s onward, and like him, David seeks to render drab surfaces, pock marks, orifices, and cracks, alive with menace and furtive physicality.

David's cultural background is rooted in the iconography and the mediterranean atmospherics of the Catholic Church. His skill-base is in Romance languages (he has a doctorate in Spanish) and his thematic preoccupations reflect this - especially the influence of the surrealist filmmaker Luis Bunuel (from Aragon), and the Catalan material painter/sculptor Antoni Tapies. Like them he interrogates the contradictions and inspirations of religious spirituality, sensuality, sexual prohibition, and the rituals and fetishes that pertain to transgression and carnality. "Religious eroticism" is a phrase that has been applied to his work.

David's latest pieces venture into more colour than previously - responding to the psychedelic exuberance of the rock-album art of the late 60s and early 70s - particularly the renowned Santana "Abraxas" work of Mati Klarwein during his Mallorca phase - a lifetime source of musical, artistic and nostalgic inspiration for him. The glittering palettes of Catalan/Valencian creative spirits such as the architect Antoni Gaudi or the painter/sculptor/illustrator Javier Mariscal are equally fertile sources in the quest for luminosity in memory - the enhancement of recollections of youth, the recapture of its terrors and gilded pleasures.

David McGrath

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