Three Davids, Three Perspectives
DAVID ANTONIDES / DAVID GRAFF / DAVID TYCHO
Three sets of eyes, three sets of hands, three perspectives. In the showcase exhibition Three Davids, Three Perspectives, Davids Antonides, Graff, and Tycho are juxtaposed with one another, complimenting and contrasting their individual styles in the distinctive ways they each see the world. From Graff’s high-shine depictions of nature’s beauty to Antonides’ and Tycho’s portraits of cities like Vancouver, Berlin, Tokyo, or New York as subjects in their own right, the outside world beckons the viewer to step forward and look beyond the surface of their paintings. Jumping forward and back from the threshold of abstraction, these three artists recreate the world recognizable through varying degrees of representationalism. Beyond their first names, the three artists are connected in their portrayal of the world as the ultimate source of inspiration.
David Antonides’ watercolours and inks create urban scenes through the gestural strokes of his brush. Though currently residing in Berlin, Antonides has lived in multiple places, such as Whitehorse, Vancouver, and New York, before settling as an expat in Germany. All such places have impacted him in a way that is visible in his art; some influence is apparent in his titles and chosen subject, and some manifesting wordlessly in his preference of style that is reminiscent of both Asian calligraphy and American Abstract Expressionism. His gestural hand compliments his urban subjects, swift and full of movement to capture the oxymoronic everyday urgency inherent to city living.
David Graff’s gilded view of the world is a revealing portrait of the world as an emotional entity. His choice of metallic leafs, lustrous resin and self-made paints reflects the motif of water so common throughout his works – from the perfectly even resin wrapping around the edges of the panels of his stilled seascapes to the crashing waves that are depicted with such vigour through the thin white paint layered between coats of resin, as if he has captured the ocean spray as it reaches out for us. His mountainous landscapes and open water compositions depict an unlimited distance, depth, and ultimately, possibilities for what could be beyond the surface. Pieces like “Miles to Go” and “For the Ages” suggest a frontier-like epic in the making, incorporating the viewer into the story of the piece.
David Tycho skillfully balances representationalism with abstraction in his work, emphasizing upon one or the other depending on the project and its importance to the final product. In creating cityscapes, landscapes, figurative and industrial subjects, Tycho fashions a new visual lexicon for modern urban living, one punctuated by the tensions between the natural and human invention. His anti-idealizing aesthetic approach portrays the urban environment, with all its decadence and decay, as a jumping-off point for his artistic expression. Venturing into the digital realm, Tycho’s aluminum pieces are experimental composites of his photographs and paintings, processed through dye sublimation onto the surface of the metal, emphasizing the contemporary themes within the medium. Despite this, Tycho still upholds fundamental principles of yesteryear, such as the 18th century Neoclassical standard of linear perspective most prominent in his alley scenes. In his creations and innovations, David is not arrogant; rather he is aware of himself as a continuous student standing on the shoulders of giants on this earth, expanding on past techniques to visualize the contemporary world.