Some observations on his subject matter and the process that makes the paintings.
His able draughsmanship is both used and rejected. David received an academic education at his London Art School; hours drawing before original and casts of 'art historical' sculpture have stood him in good stead for his working practice, passages are carefully rendered, utilizing skills of modeling and perspective laws. He is also just as likely to abandon precise description, bringing the viewer directly back to the very nature of applied pigment; then raw paint and deft drawing seemingly flick between the moment painted and now.
In his paintings there is inevitably a sense of place; the works are documents about that time when they were made. The LA river series is an example; one witnesses the structures, the feeling of being on the riverbed, bemusing the people living there by setting up his instruments for recording the moment: Sumi ink, water colour paper. On the side of his drawing board he attaches a 'Camera lucida,' a drawing aid from the past; its vulnerability and apparent redundancy keep him in touch with the process of making the work. This visualizing aid consists of a telescopic rod to which one can attach lenses of different focal lengths; by placing one's eye close to the glass, a prism effect reveals the subject as well as the image on paper. David explains that, apart from helping him locate key points in the drawing, it also allows the process to become the subject.
The concept continues in the studio, when the large blank canvas is segmented and the field drawing is transcribed; then the paintings move further from being depictions of the river and its bridges, gaining their own significance and temperature. This development is a dialogue between the viewer, other artists' works, and awareness of the media and techniques used in the making of the image.
Sian Eddington. Dec'10