Fort Worth artist David Willburn will present his latest body of work at Galleri Urbane this summer, opening June 24, 2017. In response to a changing political landscape, Willburn has been creating pieces that are each an act of resistance.
This body of work imagines an upturned world where survival depends on the creative reuse of the most fundamental of tools. Stones in various forms - weapons, mountains, barriers, and fossils - are reimagined and viewed through a queer lens. Upcycled and arranged by color and material, the artist uses abstracted mineral formations to form the foundations of a new order, one where the hegemony has been toppled, and the rioters win. Their weapons - simple and awkward - become tribal totems. Possessions and objects culled from the landscape are used to build mountains and walls. And personal artifacts are embedded in the rocks for safekeeping.
The title of this exhibition is a rallying cry, conjuring a history of rocks and stones used in riots, fortifications against invasion, and weapons for smashing symbols of oppression. These stones are highly charged political symbols of resistance. They are individually dated to reflect the moment of opposition, many of which coincide with specific events in the White House. The paintings and sculptures in this collection are abstracted representations imbued with the rich narrative of fighting back.
The artist leads by example, trading his signature use of delicate layered fabric and thread lines for hard-edged materials, mainly paint skins, to form the rigid makeup of each stone for throwing. With the build up of paint, the tactile rocks push into the viewer’s space almost as an invitation: of reflection, of action. The artist will open a conversation about the work at 4:30 pm. with an opening reception to follow from 6:00 - 8:00 pm.
Born in Fort Stockton, Texas, David Willburn lives and works in Fort Worth, Texas. He earned an MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts (Montpelier, VT). His work has been shown nationally and internationally at venues including Dallas Contemporary (Dallas, Texas), Helmuth Projects (San Diego, CA), University of Art and Design (Helsinki, Finland) Museum of Arts and Design (New York, NY), Boecker Contemporary (Heidelberg, Germany) and San Diego Art Institute (San Diego, CA).