Manchester-born artist David McGrath graduated with a First from the Art Academy London, in 2018. The work on show on the Gallery page has a point of departure in the self-portrait monoprint from the start of the first Lockdown in 2020.
The remaining linocuts are mainly to be viewed as a series entitled “Amsterdam”. Using glowing neon water-based inks against black oil surfaces, David takes inspiration from an array of sources: Hungarian photographer Brassaï’s graffiti of 1930s Paris; pitiless Weimar artist Otto Dix; 60s Horror Film posters, and many others. These are then melded with the lyrics of songwriter Jacques Brel’s epic shanty “Amsterdam”: a tribute to the tragi-heroic exploits of sailors carousing in bars and fleshpots while momentarily ashore from the loneliness and isolation of their langueurs océanes. The images here chart the desperation of their gluttony, drunkenness and lechery amid the neon allure of red-light zones. (See Jacques Brel at: Jacques Brel - Amsterdam (Live officiel Les Adieux à l’Olympia 1966) ).
David’s background is in Romance Languages, (he has a doctorate in Spanish) and he was previously a teacher/translator/academic writer, before turning to Art. He is based in Bedfordshire.