David O’Malley has attracted public’s attention through his Zen-like art compositions in numerous exhibitions. By adopting scientific theories and angles, he is exploring a new way of the explanation towards existentialism.
It is a sunny day in a café in Victoria train station. Light pours down from the transparent ceiling to the small table that we are sitting around. David O’Malley is wearing a tan jumper with a black shirt inside. Talking elegantly with a slightly shy manner, he gives his definition of his artworks.
“Essentially I am drawn to the power of atmosphere and the context of the wider picture.”
“It is technologically aware contemporary painting. I’m interested in re-codifying shifts and juxtaposition, in opposing elements of content. I like to charge my work with an aspect of meditative engagement to counteract the increasingly oversaturated digital world we now live in. The ultimate, levelling template of the void is inherent at the core of everything I make. I’m interested in transcendence, in the context of the wider picture”
“I’m interested in re-codifying shifts and juxtaposition, in opposing elements of content. I like to charge my work with an aspect of meditative engagement to add balance in an increasingly oversaturated virtual world. The ultimately leveling template of the void is inherent at the core of everything I make.”
In David’s “Paintings Is Infinite” series he assigns the objecthood of the pieces with an altered state of identity to be received by viewer. “There is a point where the familiar shifts- at which the level of recognisability becomes terminated. Through shifted zones of retinal perception, I alter the way in which the rear of a canvas is to be interpreted.” “The luxury of the art context permits you to allow things to behave with a different proposition by manipulating semiotic signals.”
“You will never be happy unless you do art.”
David has been living in London since 1999 when he moved down from the Northwest. He considers himself as a contemporary artist, a painter who is using digital technology. With a half English half Chinese ethnic background, his art often comprises of opposed yet unified thematic.
However, he has had anxiety concerning career paths. “At A-level my Art tutor asked me what kind of career path I would be following, I told him probably a stable one in graphic design – which is what my parents want – to which he replied and I still remember clearly ‘you’ll never be happy unless you do art’. Turns out he was right all along”. After quitting a graphic design course then graduating in Fine Art, David ended up working as a graphic designer in corporate environments for several years to pay off his student debts. Eventually, he gave up his stable career to once again dedicate fully his life to the practice of Fine Art.
“ For a minute, I detected traces tears of joy in my eyes. “
“I’m reasonably happy now, I prefer working alone, so the life-style suits me. When making a piece, it is vital to remain highly focused. Painting can be a battle; it’s not a stable process. The struggle can begin with the anticipation stage, which is almost like stage fright. But, sometimes when a painting is going well, when I am (a term used by musicians and sportspeople) ‘in the zone’, I can momentarily feel euphoric. A few weeks ago, for a minute I detected traces tears of joy in my eyes.”
“ Science brings inspiration to me.”
Although being an artist, David is interested in science. “I used to have a great marks in science. Science still provide inspiration fot me.” David’s paintings contain lots of thinking toward the universe. “I take notice of articles about modern scientists on subjects including terraforming, multiverse theory, chaos theory, astronauts who have experienced the Overview Effect. I also follow astronomers and Astro-photographers.”
Apart from science, artists influence David spiritually and technically. “Rothko has moved me on both a cerebral and sublime frequency. Miha Strukeli integrates emulated pixilation into his painting technique and I find Li Songsong’s work engaging in his references to social memory and his approach to painting as a purely amoral intervention.”
Apart from science, artists influence David spiritually and technically. “The infinity in Rothko has moved me on a profound level. I find the paintings of Miha Strukeli that also integrate emulated pixilation very engaging. I identify with Li Songsong’s work with his references to social memory and his approach to painting as a purely amoral intervention.”
David also mentions “There is also an element of intrigue relating to meditation that influences my work, my Chinese grandmother was Buddhist and over the past few years I have investigated a number of meditation techniques.”
“ I have made it to the finals of the John Moores Painting Prize.”
David has done many exhibitions and has been approached by authorities. “I’ve had a profile on Saatchi Art for a few years now. Last year I was signed up by New Blood Art, which was excellent news. Also, I’ve recently received attention from magazines such as Installation Magazine. My biggest achievement so far is that I have made it to the finals of the prestigious biennial John Moores Painting Prize. It will be invaluable for me.”
Moreover, David is exploring different experiences outside of being an artist. “I actually did a run in a professional Shakespeare play in London as well as getting roles in couple of independent films. Besides that, I’m an amateur astronomer.” When I asked him about the fame in art industry, he says, “I don’t really care about fame” although he agrees it can signify achievement. He usually thinks about how to return something back to society from the deep experiences he has had with arts. “To operate as a conduit, to be data-osmotic, to process and instill something of the essence of the contemporary state…and then, to have that validated by the art world and the art public; that would constitute a high level of achievement for me as an individual.” He sips his beer and watches me. The light is so bright giving some sharp sparkles shining on his glass.
2013 Mas Civiles, Trinity Buoy Wharf, London.
2013 20² Exhibition, Gallery TS1, Middlesbrough.
2013 Cork Street Open, Mayfair, London.
2013 Metropolis, Juxtapose[d] Gallery, Lauderdale House, Highgate, London.
2013 Candid Galleries, Angel, Islington, London.
2012 Look To The Sky, NGC, Sunderland.
2012 The Dark Is Rising, Hackney Wick, London.
2011 Logement, Antwerp.
2010 Elements, Horsebridge Gallery, Whitstable, Kent.
2009 Life and Liberty, Westbourne Grove Gallery, Notting Hill.
2008 Islington Art Fair, London.
2007 The Foundry, Shoreditch, London.
2006 540 Gallery, Shoreditch, London.
2005 Peopleshow, Newcastle Upon Tyne.