British artist David Shillinglaw talks about the fantastic overload we experience every single day. There is so much going on, so many demands on our attention and numerous engagement opportunities … “Touch-Screen, Vaporizing, Gender-Neutral, Illuminations everywhere – especially in London – it’s like human soup”. He processes these sensory implosions through is art works creating images that buzz, hum, boom, scream and crash into our consciousness. David explores the inner dialogue that balances our public and private persona in the midst of all this noise in his mural at the Facebook Office in London (May 2018)
London based artist David Shillinglaw was born of British parents in 1982 in the Middle East, which may explain his thirst for travel and exhibiting in galleries worldwide. Since graduating from Central Saint Martins in 2002 he has exhibited in galleries in Japan, China, The Gambia, Holland, and key cities such as NY, London, Berlin, and Istanbul.
David Shillinglaw is a British painter and muralist, known for his works which explore human nature, success and failure, and language people use in the context of their experiences. David grew up in London. He was interested in art since childhood, as he used to doodle and draw his favourite cartoon characters all the time. Soon he realised that a career in art is the one he needs to pursue, and he started his education at Central Saint Martins in London, eventually graduating from it in 2002.
The comics and cartoons were Shillinglaw’s earliest influences, and they continue affecting his style to this day. His art also draws from Ancient Egypt, and he appreciates children’s drawings, as he thinks that children have a completely different perspective on the world that adults do. Another thing that dictates David’s style is the medium he uses. Shillinglaw often changes his mediums, as he believes that fresh new ideas come from the constant growth and development of his artistic expression. He sees his body of work as a whole, with each new piece only adding to it.
When painting, David Shillinglaw taps into his past experiences and travels in search for inspiration. He draws from the places he visited, people he met, and most importantly – times when he got lost. Losing oneself is a great motivator for David as an artist. While we are finding our ways back to safety, we are also finding our true selves, thus growing and really knowing the beauty of life and the world around us. Language here plays an integral part of the whole experience – if we don’t know it, then we reach for the more abstract ways to communicate in order to be found again, which is the point of the entire
David Shillinglaw’s artworks tell a story through his words and symbols, using colour as a communication tool to make people feel certain emotions when connecting with the work. David Shillinglaw states: “Art is a universal language which we can communicate.”
David Shillinglaw completes his instantly recognisable artworks in a variety of media, from paper and canvas with acrylic and ink to concrete buildings and found objects with spray paint. His style of art is guided by the medium in which he works.
Heavily influenced by music, David Shillinglaw believes that music and art are intertwined: “I think music and visual art are two planets evolving around the same sun.”
David Shillinglaw draws on a number of sources for inspiration and is constantly acquiring new knowledge. He is influenced by artists, movements, articles in newspapers, videos on the internet, but also popular culture such as road signs and comic books that everyone can access.
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