Dex Dalwood Sleepwalker

1008 Words5 Pages
“My advice to anyone in any field is to be faithful to your obsessions. Identify them and be faithful to them, let them guide you like a sleepwalker.” The artist Dexter Dalwood has quoted from J. G. Ballard on his studio wall. It feels that, as well as Dalwood’s paintings are about very broad, they might be read as being quite autobiographical — about he growing up in a particular moment, in a particular culture, with his own obsessions and forces; about what it means to be interested in certain fields like art and history, and how those things inform each other, feed each other and come to both describe and define him. Dexter Dalwood, is an artist, who is not only possess a profound cultural and historical knowledge, but also perceives and…show more content…
For instance, the painting ‘Room 100, Chelsea Hotel’ (1999) which was painted by using plenty of chaotic details to reveal the infamous site of the violent death. The broken bed is symbolic of tragic breakdown and a pool of melting candles on the floor which is suggestive of drug culture, also explains the adage that those who shine brightest burn quickest (Saatchi Gallery). Over a career of nearly two decades, Dalwood also focuses on history and politics since he has often painted imaginary versions of historically significant figures’ domestic interiors, from Mao’s study to Bill Gates’s bedroom. Most paintings depict the death of a historic or fictional character, and often by suicided. In ‘Death of David Kelly’ (2008), the sky is exactly as it was on the day of David Kelly's passing. Kelly was a biological professor who involved in studying weapons of mass destruction and he committed suicide in the woods in 2003. His death came as a profound shock to the public. Dalwood related it specifically to this man’s story in order to question the political circumstances of Kelly’s death and placed it within an artistic context (Berning, 2010). Dalwood’s use of art historical quotation creates seams of intense richness within the visual language of his paintings. Sudden occurrences of iconic work by other artists are found in residence and at ease within the fabric of Dalwood’s composition. As though these fragments from major paintings of the past were independent-minded migratory presences, drifting through an eternal visual lexicon, and finding new meanings to
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