Exhibition: David Michael Slonim, Color Dream

Saturday, Feb 27, 2021 at 10:00am

Altamira Fine Art
7038 East Main Street
Scottsdale, AZ 85251

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Altamira Fine Art Scottsdale is pleased to present a new show for David Michael Slonim, Color Dream.

Color Dream

Like many pieces in my one-liner series, Sugar Buzz began as a small ballpoint pen doodle on scrap paper. That initial sketch was then refined using a light box and tracing paper, working out shapes, spacing and flow. Once the line drawing could stand alone, I translated it into color studies, both digital and hand painted. After creating about 30 color studies, a mostly red version emerged as the inspiration for this large canvas. The result: A painting that feels playful, energetic and bold.

While working on this series, I often thought of great musicians and how they probably work. Surely some of our favorite hit songs started out as little ditties hummed in the shower. These paintings began like that—as little nothings. But good art comes from small ideas loved into being. The thing loved becomes lovely, morphing into a radiant object that energizes a room.  

This series encapsulates two aspects of my practice: process and personality. Painting is exploration rife with risk, which means accepting failure as part of the process. In the past, all of that happened on one canvas, but in this new work, I’ve let myself explore in stages, spreading my process out over many sketches and small color studies. For every line drawing developed into a painting, there are a hundred-plus drafts that don't make the cut. I'm very happy to have found a way to increase creative risk-taking and freedom to fail, while minimizing stress.  

I love how personal this work feels to me. Alexander Calder, Joan Miró, Paul Klee and Pablo Picasso incorporated playfulness and humor in their serious explorations of human spirituality. I'm walking that path not because they did, but because their example validates my natural inclinations.

Although quieter in mood, a kind of play also informs my new gradient paintings. I started with a simple question: ‘Is color enough? Can I create a compelling painting I would want to live with using nothing but color?’ Then I became curious about what would happen if I made a perfectly stepped gradient from one color to another. What would happen if the painting is reduced to nine evenly divided bars, like a musical chord—just nine notes? There is hidden math behind light waves that can be numerically calibrated. I like poking the magic of this math with my paints, holding the mystery in my hands as I slowly and carefully mix each hue.

Picasso once said he painted what he painted because he didn't know how to do it. So I'm focusing on color to learn color. I'm steering into things beyond my current understanding to learn and grow.

Exhibition Date: February 15-27, 2021

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