David Spiller British, 1942-2018
David Spiller first attended Sidcup School of Art, then Beckenham School of Art and continued at Slade School of Art, London, where he witnessed the raise of British Pop Art.
Being younger than the Pop artists, David Spiller developed a different approach and offered another comment on the new mass-market urban culture. While Pop Art was interested in finding striking images and presenting them boldly, Spiller's focus became urban graffiti, in an approach much closer to Dubuffet or Cy Twombly.
Whilst the images derive from urban themes, David Spiller's paintings are overlaid with different painterly techniques, creating rich and complex surfaces. As a creator, David Spiller is essentially lyrical – the images spill out with complete spontaneity. This lyricism is now an extremely rare quality in art, and the emotion it arouses is not simply enjoyment, but gratitude.
Love is at the centre of David Spiller’s work. The Beatles sang All You Need is Love as if it were a mission statement. Spiller’s paintings are a cornucopia of appropriated and remembered images, a smorgasbord of influences from American Pop Art, boyhood comics, TV cartoons and art history.
His canvases are palimpsests of both paint and meaning. Drawings that begin on paper are then manipulated on computer and projected onto canvas. He lays down the flat areas of paint with great care and then subverts them with scribbles and hand written phrases like some obsessive teenage graffiti artist. Mistakes and chance are part of the whole thing. Snatched lyrics fill the flat fields of colour; resonate through the nervous system like lines from a poem.