When he emerges from 20 minutes or so of transcendental meditation and even from a deep sleep, David Butler brings with him concepts from his dream state.
“I consider your unconscious state is as vital as your aware state,” the artist stated.
Working their approach into his giant, digitally created collages are skulls and pulsing human hearts, mannequins, bare ladies, paper airplanes, thorns, Egyptian scarabs and plenty of extra photos. Collectively, they kind vigorous and wealthy scenes, lots of which touch upon ideas of id. These giant, surreal works can maintain a viewer on the lookout for lengthy minutes, discovering new icons, cryptic phrases and a number of meanings.
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“Gravity,” an exhibit of 24 of Butler’s thought-provoking works, is on view by way of Jan. 28 at Sean Christopher Gallery within the Quick North.
Butler, 57, is a local of Pittsburgh who grew up in Mount Vernon, Ohio. He attended and graduated from the Columbus Faculty of Artwork & Design, the place he met his spouse, Amy Butler, a well known material design artist. The couple lives in Granville.
Early in his profession, David Butler labored in business design – one thing he nonetheless does as he pursues the tremendous artwork a part of his profession. He has designed album covers, logos, liquor labels and posters, together with the digital poster for Cirque du Soleil’s “Varekai,” which toured to Columbus in 2005.
When the COVID-19 pandemic struck, Butler found that point alone gave him a path towards individualist and introspective themes in his work. He creates his collages digitally, assembling quite a few photos on high quality archival paper on a wooden base. The works are giant and uniform in measurement – 40 by 60 inches.
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The triptych “Triada,” embellished with gold and silver leaf, is a collection of three panels exhibiting giant human heads with varied face-covering parts. The work, Butler stated, explores “the masks we put on – our personas who we expect we’re and the actual particular person behind the masks.”
In “Exchanging Hearts,” a younger lady holding a human coronary heart confronts the pinnacle of a minotaur in what Butler describes as “a reasonably apparent tackle ‘Magnificence and the Beast,’ with a mannerist, Renaissance method.”
The again room of the Sean Christopher Gallery is what Butler and gallery proprietor John McCutcheon name “the gold room.” Right here, a half-dozen of Butler’s collages with much more gold and silver leaf accents than lots of his different works are hung and lit from beneath, giving them elevated sparkle and the room a magical really feel. “Gravitas Fidei (The Gravity of Perception)” considers spiritual beliefs in nonjudgmental vogue. “Morocco Research 1-2-3,” a couple of of the one non-digital works within the exhibit, had been created by Butler whereas educating a collage workshop in Marrakech, Morocco. (Sure, he rooted for the Moroccan crew through the World Cup.)
Butler additionally works in sculpture, though there aren’t any examples of this work within the Sean Christopher exhibit. He intends to proceed that and his collage work. In 2022, he had three solo displays and was included in two group exhibitions.
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He says that the digital course of permits him to be limitless in his work.
“I don’t consider in boundaries in making artwork,” he stated. “I select to have a a lot larger palette than in conventional collage.”
He describes the followers of his work – together with a loyal group of younger fanatics who observe his exhibits – as “captivated with narration and storytelling in artwork.” Viewers, he stated, “are going to see what they see in these works.”
One different factor they might see is a gold wax seal. Butler consists of considered one of these on the backside of every of his collages – an old-school signature on some very trendy, progressive works.
At a look
“Gravity,” works by David Butler, continues by way of Jan. 28 within the Sean Christopher Gallery, 815 N. Excessive St., Suites H & N. Hours: 3:30 to five:30 p.m. Wednesdays by way of Fridays, and 1:30 to three:30 p.m. the second and fifth Saturdays of the month, or by appointment. Name 614-327-1344 or go to seanchristophergallery.com.