Meet David Walker


By Vincent Morgan |  Published on Monday, February 3, 2014.

We met the street artist David Walker in his parisian studio. Meeting with talent and humility mixed with poetry.

Article by Wessame Benahcene for FatCap

December 13th 2013 : 3 :30pm. 13th arrondissement of Paris. The meeting was planned. To go meet David Walker, we must be guided through a lightless maze without. On the ground of his mysterious lair, empty spray cans  and paint marks that seem to point in all directions. But looking more closely, these colors are not so randomly spread out. They point towards six spots. Six paintings. Six portraits. And their creator, who with his impressive stature, his dark clothes, and his neutral figure contrasts widely with his colorful pieces. He smiles. Rarely. Letting us scarcely his complex and intriguing nature. His paintings are colorful, vivid and inspire joy. What a contrast. Perhaps this creative monster prefers not to smile to these who captivated by his work, are starring. An encounter with pure talent, humility and poetry.

© Ben Art

He is of those who do not explain the genesis of their art, a profound expression of his sub conscience he choses to translates either on canvas or wall. His classy British and classy accent can't hide where he's from. David Walker is English. Originally from London, inspiration pushed him to move to Berlin two years ago. He explains his exile by an increasing need for a change.

Collaborating to a wide amount of projects around the world, Walker can't seem to want to keep steady. A week before we met him, David was in Miami. He paint a wall of almost 33 feet long and 13 feet wide in less than three days. Lets just say efficiently is not something he struggles with. However, he says : "It depends. I can spend 6 months without painting a wall, if I 'm trying some new things or if I'm not happy with my paintings". Nonetheless he stays driven by "the amazing type energy that can even make us forget to eat and drink". Of course the 37 years old artist also chose to leave his mark in France choosing the parisian Mathgoth Gallery to represent him in exclusivity. And this is just a start. David Walker doesn't plan on staying in Germany. Where is he off to next t ? A warm country. Maybe United States.

Paint with spray cans as only tool ? Challenge accepted. Some may  think Walker has been using spray for a long while but he has only been using this technique for 6 little years. His current creations are all using this single tool. Challenge met. This sudden change came from a major revelation he had during a Los Angeles collective exhibition : "When I finished painting this huge wall, that was it, I knew that this was what I wanted to do." Speaking of collectives, his favorite collaboration to the day was two years ago. " I made a big wall with the graffiti artist Shione in London. The shape of his letters are so beautiful. The way he paints is so fast and fluid, with no fear." Walker tends to be though when speaking of his own work "Back then, I was too careful and worried to enjoy painting."Why did Shione inspire David ?" He told me : just go to the wall and enjoy the process. Do it and when it will be done, some time  you'll walk away having done the worst work you ever did, but some time it will also be the best." Shione's productive self-confidence definitely had a big impact on Walker.

© Ben Art

He likes to let himself guide by chance. He doesn't really pick the colors he uses, but is always trying new combinations. He enjoys mixing colors that wouldn't usually be seen side by side : "I love taking colors that don't go together and find the way to make it work."

David is a lonely artist. He likes to cut himself from the world, from time to time. His studio in Berlin is isolated, with no internet access and far from any creative hostility. He can stay there for days. Just painting. But the worst enemy to his creativity does not come from the outside world. It is deeply anchored in himself. Walker only paints when he feels like doing so : "I refused many offers to paint at festivals, I see street art as the pleasure of creating in the moment. I don't let the trend get the best of me."

Work in progress © Ben Art

As you ladies probably already understood, your beauty charms the artist : his main subject is feminine faces. "When I started, I was looking for pictures in magazines and on the Internet in order to paint and improve my technique."

But this evolved with time "Nowadays, I just see a face and I feel like it would make a beautiful painting, it’s unconscious." Who are those bewitching mermaids ? Unknown models who scarcely enter his life for a photoshoot or know faces from his daily life, as long as they inspire him. Walker takes the time to choose the perfect posture for  each of his models : "I sometimes take 200 shots to find 2 or 3 that I will paint Works in progress. A woman's portrait is the hardest thing to achieve, as the canvas will never equal the model's beauty."

Work in progress © Ben Art

Œuvres en cours de réalisation © Ben Art

His ultimate goal is once again mixed with his relentless humility : "If people look at your work instead of at the woman who posed for it, I consider the painting achieved its goal, although I don't think this will ever be achievable." We think Walker makes this impossible goal accessible but we understand when he says "it is difficult for an artist to realize what he's doing, because you can't see your work with a fresh eye. When you look at your paintings, you can see the entire journey." We try to test him and ask him to describe his art in a word. He will use two : "beautiful mess".

His next exhibition will take place at Robert Fontaine Gallery - Miami, May 2014.

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