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Feature: Dave White - The Good, The Bad + The Ugly

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Dave White by Fatsarazzi


Interview by: Thomas Bradley
Photography: Fatsarazzi & Dave White Studio

Twelve months in the making, Dave White will be debuting his new works at this years Fame Collective at Art Basel. Having worked with Nike sneakers as icons in the past, Dave White's new series of works enter another genre which fit right into the culture we live in. With each new painting standing at least five feet tall and some spanning six, these new portraits of superheros and villains debut today at the FAME Collective during Art Basel Miami. Thomas Bradley interviews Dave on The Good, The Bad & The Ugly.

Make sure to stop by the Fame Collective show if you are at Art Basel this week. See you there!

What is the difference between pop art and fine art? Can one become the other?

Pop Art is a movement which falls under the category of Fine Art. Be it painting, Sculpture or Print. The grey area is what do you define as Fine Art? Using mass produced objects as a source of inspiration and making unique pieces of Art is what makes Pop so distinctive and has always appealed to me.

Complete interview after the jump...

Did working on these pieces feel different than the work that made you famous?

I have been painting for 20 years and have explored various subjects over time. To me the scale is totally different as they are much bigger than my previous works. The average size is 6ft So everything has been up-scaled. Each colour uses a pint of oil paint. The challenge is much greater. And the battle much more intense. I am planning some 20 ft works at the moment.


There is still that kinetic feeling attached to your art which has been present throughout your career as a painter. Is that a result of the process or the source of inspiration itself?

I would say both. The way the paint moves is something that happens naturally as I make a painting. The brush marks and paint splats can be seen in my work from 20 years ago. Movement is very important to me in my work. I don't think about painting when I paint it just happens. However with these works keeping the graphic subject juxtaposed with the expressive paint is the challenge.


These pieces are portraits of superheroes in moments of shock, surprise, and even despair. What attracted you to capturing these emotions that are not generally assigned to superheroes? Should we notice a greater socio-political message in these works?

Capturing a frozen moment of emotion really appeals to me. The reflection of emotions in a portrait can have an incredible effect upon the viewer and leave a lasting mark. That's one of my intentions with these works.


Comic book heroes and villains have seen a resurgence in mass media over the last few years. What is it that attracts the general public to these characters ? What attracts you to them as an artist?

My dad used to buy me comics as a boy, his favorite was Green Lantern and mine was Iron Man. I can remember being three and drawing from them after he had read them to me. The images came first and that's what stuck, the frozen moments of violence, love, joy and despair really left an impression with me. I have had these works on my mind for a long long time. I would say people have a favorite hero, heroine or villain and for very personal reasons. Maybe it's the alter ego thing? Maybe it's the personal relation to a specific character and their intentions.


With a successful artistic departure from footwear as your main subject, do you think your audience will change with you?

I explore subjects for no other reason than a personal need to make them. It's always been about the painting for me to be honest. I'm flattered if people like what I do, but as with any artist, I just go to my studio to do my thing and love making images.


Why is showing in Miami's Art Basel exhibition important to you and how do you think it will go?

I am looking forward to showcasing the new works all together and Art Basel is a great platform for that as over 40,000 people from all corners of the globe roll into town. I hope it goes well for us all. The Fame Collective show is going to be an awesome gathering.

Thanks to Yu-Ming and all at Freshness and it's readers.



Visit the new Dave White Site for more:


Dave White - The Good, The Bad & The Ugly
F.A.M.E. Collective
2228 Park Avenue | Map
Miami Beach, FL 33139

Frank151 Release + Rock The Bells Pre-Party - Aug 10 - 1

Exhibition Date: December 4th (Tomorrow!) - December 7th (Saturday)