Artist Feature II: Dave Singley

Dave Singley, photog
Photog, 2011. Acrylic on panel 13"x13"

Dave Singley, Motor Skills Test
Motor Skills Test, 2011. Acrylic on panel 13"x13"

Dave Singley, No More Bummers
No More Bummers #3, 2009. Cover Design and Editorial Illustrations

I have no idea how I originally came across Dave Singley and his art. I've enjoyed following his work because what he creates makes me laugh, really laugh. In addition to what I've highlighted here, Singley designs furniture, charming objects and makes music. 

Lately what have you been up to?
Right now I'm making work for 2 art shows in April, one I had set up with friends, and the other I was asked to be in.  Feeling a little overwhelmed, because as I'm sorting my ideas, I'm looking at the calendar and thinking about how much time I have, but ultimately I'm up for the challenge. I like making things with deadlines in mind.

SO you're working on paintings for the shows? And where are these shows to be held?
Something in the South Bronx in early April, a friend recommended me to her friend who is curating a show about emerging artists. She came over and saw some stuff and wants me to be involved, so I'm busting my hump now.  The other one, has been planned for a while, it's a group show in Greenpoint, super basic, we all just wanted to make some new stuff, and show it, and have a party, 3 of the 4 of us work together so we are always talking about it, trying to motivate each other but keeping it light.  That opening is April 21st - THE CLOCK IS TICKING! 
Dave Singley, Huge jump
Huge Jump, 2011. Acrylic on panel 13"x13"

Dave Singley, Fridge
Fridge, 2005. Mixed media on panel 12x12"

There has always been a strong effort towards humor in your imagery, at least that's what I take from it. I can relate to that. Sometimes I tell myself 'don't get too precious'. Would you say that's a part of your approach or am I way off course?
Humor is a huge part of my life, and my work has a lot of personal narrative stuff (hidden or not) in the more figurative elements.  Mostly I make an effort to express my ideas, and my aesthetic sensibilities, in an honest way.  It is all pretty personal stuff, I'm just not a dark guy.  I judge myself as I do other artists when I really look for the thing that makes the work "of the artist." I think the easiest way to do this is to not choke up too much, just make the stuff that's in your head.

I like that you characterize it as honesty. Because in many ways I am sort of a self-loathing art school graduate, I really enjoy honest work that is in my mind lacking the mumbo-jumbo-ish teachings of the NY contemporary art world- definitely a lot of dark-brooding-artist-persona overkill. I found this quote recently in regards to defining "outsider art" and I felt like this guy was speaking my language, by James Brett- founder of The Museum of Everything. what do you think?
“Outsider art does not exist. There is no such thing as an outsider because outsiders are necessarily defined by insiders, and we’re not arrogant enough to call anybody an outsider cause we’re inside, are we? And as for art, well art doesn’t exist — we made it up hundreds of years ago to separate the high and the low, to dispossess people without a voice of that voice. What you see in this space are those voices coming out, unedited. It’s the same as Occupy Wall Street. It’s brilliant because it’s direct and honest, and generally it’s not thinking as much about a market. These are works of astonishing privacy, and that’s what makes them terrific. But, truthfully, there is no such thing as outsider art. As soon as people realize that and get rid of that terminology, and just understand everything as ‘making,’ then we’ll all be a lot better for it.”
Oh man, my brain hurts when i read things like that.

Have people made the David Shrigley comparison before with you?
I first came across a Shrigley Book at this bookstore Logos in Santa Cruz, like 10 years ago.  And that happened because my friend pulled it out of the shelf due to the similarity of our names, and we loved the book, and I bought it.  I felt like I was early to the Shrigley party because I was sitting on that book for 5 years before he was Urban Outfitter-ized.  But, as I continue to see new stuff of his I'm ultimately disappointed to see him phoning it in with recycled material, but of course envious of such a choice career.  People ask me if I know about Shrigley if they know me personally because they assume I would appreciate the humor in his work, and I tell them yes of course, but nobody really compares our work.  I emailed him once, and he never got back to me, what a wanker.
Dave Singley, Skeleton
Skeleton, 2011. Acrylic on panel, 13"x13"
Dave Singley, Pink Eye Ringo
Pink Eye Ringo, 2002. Mixed media on panel 18"x27"

What artists/music/creations are you excited about right now? 
Favorite Artist - Keegan Mchargue / Favorite Band - Regal Degal & I'm looking forward to this show coming up at the armory, some dude [Tom Sachs] is gonna make the inside like Mars or something, should be really cool, sure to get a lot of hype in the press.

Ok now can you describe your dream like scenario- perfect world Dave Singely. What would you create? Who would you collaborate with? Where would you or the work live? blah blah
I never think about that kind of stuff, but if I had to play along I'd say a new take on Warhol's Factory, with less drug abuse, and a lot of consumer friendly affordable product? Maybe? 

Image Exchange

To:Us From:Dave 
Dave Singley, Flower
Flower, Dave Singley
 To:Dave From:Us
Lana Fee Rasmussen, Balding Sun
Balding Sun, Lana Fee Rasmussen
Thanks Singley!

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