Untitled # 01/06 (2006)
Painting by David James Smith


  • Painting, Panel / Board / MDF
  • One of a kind artwork
  • Size: 19.69 × 39.37 × 1.38 in (unframed) / 19.69 × 39.37 in (actual image size)
  • This artwork is sold unframed
  • Signed on the back

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David James Smith

United Kingdom

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Artist's description:

My interest lies in making paintings that explore the seductive possibilities of surface, colour and form.

The process of making this painting employs pouring household gloss paint onto MDF board to create a blemish and brush mark free, highly - reflective, coloured surface. Once dry, another layer of chosen colour is then poured and the support is pivoted to allow the paint to 'creep' and roll down the surface, until a decision is made as to when the paint should stop. The support is pivoted in the opposite direction to allow excess paint to drip off. The process is repeated twice more, resulting in a composition of colour and form created from an equal measure of chance and decision.

This process of making paintings came into existence from working as a studio assistant to the professional artist Ian Davenport. By using an unconventional application of paint to a surface - pouring, rather than brushing - I became fascinated watching the excess paint roll off the board. Undulating waves of paint being coerced and manipulated across a surface to create a beautiful, reflective block of colour. I started to question how much of a painting is made by chance and how much is made by decision. A number of variables determine how these forms, or ‘ribbons of colour’ are made: the consistency of the paint, the temperature of the working environment, the angle at which the surface is pivoted.

The colours are informed by the packaging of confectionary. When I was a child I remember having a strong inclination to put the putty-like toy Play-Doh in my mouth. Gloss paint, by its nature, has that same pseudo-edible quality for me, in its consistency, attractive colours and sweet smell.

When making a painting, I first look at a specific foodstuff and note its colour combinations. I select some of those colours and arrange them in a relationship that I feel works. This can be tonally harmonious or welcomely awkward.

The horizontal sides (top and bottom) of the painting betray the history of the process; globules of dried paint line the sides of the support . The vertical (left and right) sides of the painting are masked throughout the process. They are a clean white. This painting is intended to be hung unframed.

The support is crafted from high - quality MDF and is fitted with strong brass eyelets and hanging cord at the back for immediate hanging.

The paint is high-quality Dulux solvent-based gloss. The finish is highly - reflective, as can be seen from the figures and camera mirrored in the photograph of the painting.

This piece is signed, dated and titled on the back.

Materials used:

Solvent-based household gloss paint on MDF

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