Self Portrait with Implants, acrylic on polyester
Are we alone in the Universe? If we ask this, the most provocative question of all time, will we find certain peril that threatens our aspirations as a civilization or will we find the most enlightening realization imaginable? Can we even recognize the magnitude of the question? We may have been blind to a truth that has always been here right in front of our eyes! Once revealed, can we rise to the challenge of the truth together as one species?
These notions have fueled my creative life for as long as I can remember. This resulted in a deep interest in science and a need to pursue a free creative expression. "Art for Art's Sake" is not the reason that I ventured down this path. I began painting because I wanted to experience space travel but could not. The next best thing became my own exploration of the universe. I recognized that nature and evolution did not end at the edges of Earth and that the mysteries of Earth reflected the vast unseen components of existence. In this context, one cannot consider the atom without considering metaphysics. Painting became a science experiment and amateur experimental science became a new medium in art.
My background in education was split between science and art. Efforts at pursuing dual degrees in the early 70s were fruitless. Neither field saw much validity in the other. I was not interested in science illustration as the accepted career pathway in the sciences, nor did I accept being relegated to science fiction book covers by the arts. I wanted to experience the landscape painting of space as a fine art; it is, after all, a natural extension of the landscape painting of Earth. Likewise, metaphysical and visionary experience is an extension of surrealism, only instead of the sub-conscious as the domain of expression, the super- conscious or meta-consciousness is the focal point.
Caught between science and art, I left school to work for a succession of artists: Hans Bouvenkamp, Al Held, Sylvia Stone and Joel Meisner. I also spent a period working at Spellman High Voltage Corp. The fusion of this experience resulted in some painting and sculpture, experimentation in light, magnetism and electronics, and investigations into such fringe interests as UFOs, parapsychology and psychotronics. During this period I traveled in Central America visiting Pre-Columbian ruins, trying to follow the tantalizing notions of Eric von Danikens Chariots of the Gods, that aliens visited the Earth in early antiquity.
My experimental endeavors moved beyond a singularly personal experience when I began to work for two not-for-profit organizations, Gilchrist Institute and Genesa Foundation, developing instrumentation for parapsychological research. I next began a course of employment in commercial art, including graphic artist, bronze foundry artisan, welder, mold maker, and exhibition designer and fabricator. Principle in this experience was the Universal Studios Theme Parks where I was a sculptor on such projects as architectural facades and sculptural elements of such exhibits as ET, Jaws, and King Kong. This work brought me back to basics in art by kindling efforts at more classical work such as painting landscapes and sculpting in clay.
Main Gate Gargoyles, Universal Studios Theme Park, Florida This time in Florida found me visiting the space coast and watching shuttle launches frequently. I had the pleasure of being invited to a NASA educators conference, which included a forward site pass for the launch of Challenger on the Solar Max mission. After the launch someone described me as being like a kid who had just seen Santa Claus. This experience inspired the beginning of the painting Freedom, which sat incomplete until Discoverys return to space after the long pause brought about by the Challenger tragedy.
Today, living in the Adirondacks provides the inspiration for both the classic landscape and the search for a more comprehensive truth. This exhibition represents selections of my work, from the early 70's to today, that embody paradox, mystery and unseen truth, in imagery derived from our environment, assuming that it does not end at the horizon, nor that the world is flat, time linear, nor that infinity is bound by a beginning or an ending.
I dedicate this exhibition to everyone who ever attempted to undertake a serious investigation of the question, "Is anyone out there?" From Carl Sagan to Stanton Friedman and Zecharia Sitchin, many have labored to lift this question from fantasy and dogma to the light of free inquiry. Whether in Science or Art, the quiet inspiration that flows from the creative process may be heard whispering the answer, "Yes!" For the answer to speak any louder, we must first not be aliens to each other.
The artist is currently Museum Preparator for Plattsburgh State Art Museum. www2.plattsburgh.edu/Museum
As a commercial artist, David has participated in creating sculpture and fabricating exhibits for Universal Studios Theme Parks, including back lot building facades, sculpture such as King Kong photo op, elements of ET ride, Main Gate Gargoyles and statuary, as well as work at Disney and a variety of Museum Interpretive Centers.
David has also worked for Joel Meisner Foundries, Kenetics Unlimited Sculpture and various Graphic Arts houses like TV Tempo Magazine.
In the fine arts, David has been artist's assistant to Al Held, Sylvia Stone and Hans Bouvenkamp.
He has exhibited in Bridge Street Gallery - Plattsburgh, Lake Placid Center for the Arts, SUNY - Plattsburgh, Potsdam, Albany and New Paltz, Thomas Center - Gainesville Florida and the Firehouse Gallery - Nassau Community College.
Contact David Driver at: David.Driver@Plattsburgh.edu
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