At just 28 Alexander Wang is unquestionably one of the most fascinating designers on the contemporary fashion scene. Each season Wang excels and F/W 12-13 was no exception. Opening with a lacquered tweed, hooded skirt-suit and closing with long leather coats featuring waxed panels, the collection was bold, sophisticated, full of architectural shapes and ultimately cool.
Purple Rain takes a contemporary look at decadent detail and full colour. The 3D effect is enhanced by the use of light and shadow played out beautifully by photographer Nicole Demeshik. Transparency, texture, layering, prints and silks play important motives in Purple Rain, evoking fun vibrancy and excitement for Spring Summer 2012.
Raised in Loveland Colorado, David began drawing and sculpting at a very young age creating creatures of the unknown. David’s art is featured in both public and private collections throughout the world, with his sculptures even being recognized by the great movie director, Guillermo Del Toro. Embracing life-death rebirth, David’s sculptures are very primordial in thought and have a very powerful significance.
Institute: What is your creative background David?
David Richardson:As far back as I can remember, I’ve had the urge to create. Like there was some incredibly strong artistic force inside me that demanded to grow. I remember watching those old Ray Harryhausen movies and the stop-motion animation was something that I strived to create on my own. I was so enthralled with those movies. Often I would just sit for hours drawing all those magnificent creatures that Harryhausen brought to life. The mythology and journey of those movies really captured my young mind. I began creating my own comic books and selling drawings at my elementary school for a quarter a piece. It would seem that drawing and painting was my passion but then when I was 10, my father brought home some casting wax and plasticine clay. I quickly took to it, creating all sorts of monsters and mythological creatures. I took every art class I could in high school and once graduated (2000), I began working in sculpture studios around my home town of Loveland, Colorado. This is really when I became amazed with the lost-wax process. The history of this process and the feeling of making what someday will be artifacts of a lost civilization was intriguing to me. I did not have any additional schooling in the arts but did study under two pioneers of bronze sculptures: Fritz White (R.I.P) and Kent Ullberg.
Institute: What made you take the Career path of an artist?
DR:I feel like I didn’t choose this path, it chose me. By this I mean, I have nurtured my creative instinct, that force that makes me create. We all have that in us, some just don’t know what to do with it. I have worked very hard to get where I am and have had lots of help and encouragement along the way. It’s something I can’t humanly resist doing and the fact that it has become a “path of life” means I embrace it fully.
Institute: What is the creative process of a new design?
DR: For me it’s a lot different then most sculptors I know. I rely on my dreams and visions to dictate what I give birth to. When I sculpt, I never have a drawing or an outline. I work purely out of instinct. I don’t want to be confined to just a drawing or a sketch. I prefer to let it come naturally. I guess it’s an out of body experience. I just kinda “check out”. Sometimes I’ll sculpt for hours, not paying any attention to what’s happening around me, then I will come back to reality. I feel as a true artist, you must have this ability to just become one with your craft. Oftentimes an idea or concept for a new piece manifests in a sudden thought, out of no where or in a dream. When this happens, I see the sculpture in it’s entirety. Then, as I begin to clay up a piece the emotional connection and concept come to fruition. It’s a bond between earth and I: clay and my deepest unconscious thoughts begin to intertwine in a dance of enlightenment.
Institute: Have you always been attracted by unusual and extraordinary artworks?
DR: I believe so. When I was 9, I found my Uncle Dave’s (also an artist) Heavy Metal Magazine collection. That was a major breakthrough to my artistic development. Whenever we had family gatherings, l’d quietly sneak away, go down into his studio and riffle through those old gems. The illustrations and story boards were of a whole new world to me and I soaked it up like a sponge. The science fiction and fantasy mixed with erotica and horror made me set aside my “regular” children’s books and embrace the unusual. Moebius, Corben, Caza, and Druillet were like these art gods from another planet. I really didn’t think they were human. Seeing this “adult illustrated fantasy magazine” at such a young age had a profound affect on my taste for art. I quickly became bored with the run of the lot normalcy and really gravitated to the unusual landscapes my mind began to unlock. This has given me a great deal of respect for uniqueness and originality, two of the most potent aspects of art.
Institute:So what does your day look like; how much time do you spend with your work?
DR: Well currently I’m working for sculptor, Kent Ullberg, at his studio in Colorado. There, I’m immersed in art all day. I get to help create monumental sculptures and working alongside Kent Ullberg and Brian Clements has brought me great pride and joy. When I leave his studio, I go to my studio so there is not much of a creative lull. Most days I’m lost in my craft. I tend to sculpt for hours on end when working a new sculpture but most of the work comes after the sculpting. With the lost-wax process, it’s almost like my work is never done because of all the steps involved. With this extensive and ancient process comes lots of long hours and even more patience. I am dedicated to my work, I have learned all aspects of the process through trial and error and perseverance. My work is never done!
Institute: Many designers are saying art is a very big and important source of inspirations. What is your opinion about that concerning your work and your personal biggest inspirational source?
DR: Art is all around us: From cars, architecture, and machinery to nature, people, fashion, and cinema. It’s very easy for me to become inspired but one of the most important inspirations to me is music. Music has always been a part of my life, it has a very high vibration and is perfect for opening one’s creative epicenter. When I am creating and my mood and thoughts are in highest regard, I try and match that to what I listen to. Sometimes in a mellow mood I’ll listen to movie soundtracks, Indie, or alternative/experimental rock and when I’m in a more aggressive mood I listen to heavy metal, grindcore, or black metal.
Institute: Do you have any current muses?
I have always been fascinated with ancient history and mythology. I become very enchanted when reading about mythological deities and the history of our earth. When I feed the curious part of my mind with this knowledge and fuse that with music I truly am in a state of bliss. In this state, I create.
Institute: Who’s work do you most admire?
I have a great deal of admiration for all the old masters, Rodin, Bugatti, Da Vinci, Michelangelo, Anna Hyatt Huntington, Gustave Eiffel, and Albrecht Durer. As for more modern artists like Salvador Dali or Beksinski, their work speaks out to me with great rhapsodic recognition. I can feel a sense of fear and heightened emotions which makes me wonder what times where like when they embodied their work: war, civil rights, encroaching technology, religious turmoil, and criticism,. The passion that they possessed through their works is utterly amazing to me. I also have plenty of admiration for what sculptors Kent Ullberg and Fritz White have pioneered over the last 20 years. There entrepreneurship has opened the doors for bronze sculptors, like myself, to thrive and give back to a dying art form.
Institute: What is your signature style?
DR: It has always been hard for me to categorize what I do. I feel my art has a vey powerful and grounding attitude done in a somewhat classical approach. Something I have always wanted to stay true to is having a style of my own. I feel if I say “I’m a fantasy sculptor” then I have limited myself to only fantasy. I like to be open to a little bit of every art movement. I have been exposed to all forms of art since I was a child and they have all affected me to a certain extent. Kind of like I have sifted through and adapted things I like about them all, an art vulture. Having said that, my signature style is a blend of Post Modern surrealism with an anthropomorphic twist.
Institute: What does 2012 hold for you?
DR: 2012 is going to be a very exciting year for me. I will start the year off by participating in Chet Zar’s ““Conjoined 2- The Sequel” at Copro Gallery LA , opening January 21st. This show is going to be amazing; hosting an array of very talented sculptors and metal workers from around the world. Also in 2012, I will continue to work internationally showing in Moscow, Russia: The First International Art Festival of Modern Art Russia-USA-Europe and Geysers of Subconsciousness-8. Along with being involved with many exhibitions and conventions throughout the year, I’ll be working on private commissions and helping Mr. Ullberg at his studio. Finally, I am very happy to announce the venture into creating a line of figurative sculptures where I’ll be focusing on the female form and shape. The first in the series is on display at Gallery Provocateur in Chicago, IL. It’s going to be a wild and inventive ride so stay tuned!
Looking ahead to spring/summer 2012 it’s vital to illuminate and highlight your wardrobe. Blue Summer bursts onto the pages of Institute with a truly sophisticated harmony of colours, accompanied by an explosion of texture. Jumpsuits, statement pieces and bright blazers are all items of desire we should be possessing this season.