Name: Dave McClinton
Primary Medium: Digital Collage, output to paper
Tell us about your upcoming exhibition:
ARTBASH, Austin TX. November 9th
“Despite It All” January 11 at the Dougherty. It’s an exhibition using portraiture and historical elements to connect generational struggles within the African American community.
What are you working on now?
Art work for the previously men toned exhibit.
What draws you to your medium?
I like the notion of inventing faces and bodies that emote just as much if not more than photography.
How long have you been an artist and how your practice changed over time?
A few years. It’s blurry. I first exhibited publicly in 2015 during EAST Austin Studio Tour. The work grows as I engage with current events and I seek to use imagery to speak on those issues.
In your opinion, what does the Austin arts community need as the city continues to grow?
Affordable studio space, affordable living.
Social Media Handles:
I combine my love of photography, art and graphic design to create works that speak to the viewer by communicating something specific and obvious but also harboring subtexts that require repeated viewing or discussion. My 25 year career as a graphic designer has been to communicate quickly and efficiently through logo and branding work. That economy of message can be applied to art.
In the African American community, we are slowly rediscovering our history that has not been fully illustrated. It’s my job as visual communicator to review historical information and inform the community by bringing these concepts to life and help visually define our identity. And to distribute these stories about the strengths and trials of the African American community.
I want to illustrate the life-cycle of the inner life of a black person. From innocent to informed. From recklessly defiant to determined. How the weight of American history can either crush you or harden you. And, how either result often has to be hidden from view just to get through the day. The anger of the African-American community is often portrayed as a threat. The anger of “traditional’ communities is depicted as righteous. This paradigm feeds stress and despair back into black lives and thus stokes the fires we try to simultaneously hide and harness.
Currently, there is a newly intensified wave of empathetic consciousness in all forms of artistic output. I want the community to seize this moment in history to create work that tells a story and compels them to seek out empathy and activism for the sake of others. My hope is the work I’m creating can help do that. I want to spark conversations that have, historically, been hard to start.