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David WestlingBiography: The key event in my artistic development is still the 1974 Marcel Duchamp retrosepctive at the Art Institute of Chicago. In his work I found affirmation and refusal, the affirmation of the magnificence of life, and the refusal to compromise by mirroring the concerns of the Academy. For me this entailed the refusal to undertake art school training, or even complete my four-year university degree. I would be an autodidact. My art eschews the purely abstract, which to me seems to be a muddled way of depicting reality. Neither is it strictly figurative, or should I say, naturalistic. The fantastic is always present, either just beneath the surface or overt. But it is always done with an eye toward inducing the spectator to examine the underlying assumptions of one's course in life. A primary device is that of short-circuiting the usual spectator-artist dynamic--a refusal to provide the spectator with something worthy of worship. Defrocking is necessary in these days of dark superstition. Country: USA Birthyear: 1954 Galleries: NNWAC Gallery Chicago IL; Excalibur, Chicago IL; Holsum roc Gallery, Chicago IL; Peter Jones Gallery, Chicago IL Media: oil Style: surrealistic Subjects: people, portraits and characters
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