à la mode
For the inaugural exhibition, Slugtown present the work of David Donald. In his work Donald is interested in the ideas of novelty used within advertising and fashion. Recent paintings use the outline of t-shirts as a surface to promote the idea of the universal/personal advertising of the individual.
Donald has been particularly interested in the Mondrian design, which he sees as exemplary in terms of highlighting trends within design history. Made nearly 100 years ago, the Mondrian design’s iconicity is no longer associated with its ideas from the original time of production – the 1920s de Stijl era. Due to endless reproduction of the original, nowadays the design is more widely associated with 1960s mod fashion, nautical connotations and watch advertisements.
Expanding upon this, he has been writing about iconic design (such as Mondrian and others) and how they are used within architecture, fashion and advertising. He employs this idea within his paintings, as a way to express how designs are used as filler images – a sensibility of novelty that provides recognition for the viewer.
Similarly in his drawings, Donald is interested in advertising providing an obvious point of departure for making assumptions between two disparate times. For example, Luxoria is a drawing that brings together the form of a 1930s racing car alongside the iconic posture of the Sphinx in Egypt.
Donald’s painting process is lengthy, and short-circuits the traditional notion of painting as an expressive medium. Instead, his technique is a more controlled, almost fascist process, whereby the traditional craft is manipulated into an idealised version of what painting can be. The inherent graphic quality, and deliberate lack of depth and perspective in the works, nods towards mid-century advertising and animation.
In the sculptural works, there is a heavy design process. A 3d printed flyswatter for Barbie uses the associations of domesticity but also adhere to the personalised functional object of manufactured goods. They also exist between both functional representations of objects and decorative sculpture, and do not adhere to a realistic scale.
David Donald (b.1993) Recent exhibitions include: Bloomberg New Contemporaries, Bluecoat, Liverpool and ICA, London; Bodyspaces | Humans+Hybrids, WorldHotel Ripa, Rome; Buffet d’art, Ambika P3, University of Westminster, London; Legumes, Malden Road NW5, London; Slade School of Fine Art Degree Show, London.