hello neighbour: David Daley

David Daley is a new neighbour in Art Central. He received a month-long St[art] residency courtesy of the Calgary Allied Arts Foundation and is painting in a studio in the lower level. I was immediately interested in knowing more about David's work since it combines signpainting, design ephemera and arresting colour combinations. Given the confident execution of his work, I was surprised to learn that David has only been painting for a year. His fine lines and meticulous work at first look to be silkscreened when in fact they are painted by hand with fine brushes.

My career as a mixed collections conservator has seen me working in art galleries and museums to preserve and interpret artworks and objects of cultural property. Over the years, I have acquired a very good understanding of artistic styles and design aesthetics. No longer content to simply preserve the works of other artists and originators, I’m now finding ways to express the artistic ideas I have been collecting for a long time.

I have a fascination for nostalgia and love vintage aesthetics and styles. To me, learning about other eras and exploring the sense of ripeness that different times possess is fascinating. Examining the timelessness and subjectivity of modernity compels me: every age is modern for those who live in it. But what things are constant about popular culture and sub-culture and what things are ever-evolving? What remains ageless and what is a fleeting trend?
I have started making paintings from images taken from black market 20th century erotic material. Tijuana Bibles were illicit underground comic books which put comic characters, celebrities and even politicians of the day in sexually explicit situations. The little booklets were mass produced from the 1930s to the 1950s and I have used the cover designs to make paintings in vintage or pop-art colour schemes.
I like to produce art that has a raw visual appeal: art that I think looks good. To me, the flirtatious messaging in the Tijuana Bible covers carried over well to the paintings by expressing a playful and fun look at life and sex. Fashions come and go but some of the pleasures in life transcend the prevailing modes.

If you'd like to get in touch with David, please contact him by email.