Bits and Pieces
Exhibition from September 13rd to November 9th 2013
Born in the Japanese military base
of Okinawa in 1971, David Lyle has been since his adolescence pretty much
influenced by the musical trends of the 50’s and TV series such as The Twilight Zone, as his family moved
back very quickly to the USA. Punk Rock music is one of the most important
discovery for having introduced the young David to a sense of energy, as well
as strong ideals and the particular aesthetic of album covers that captivate him
and already nourish his artistic desires.
What other city could better allow him to freely express his ideas and help him
to assert his artistic positions but San
Francisco? His determining encounter with Winston
Smith and his definitely politically involved collages incites him to see
further. Later, settled in Manhattan,
he tries to answer to queries rising as one irritating obsession.
Where does that nostalgic feeling of
the happy and untroubled 50’s and 60’s, of whom he collects objects, come from?
And that pink evocation of the 50’s and 60’s might be considered as some kind
of witness of people dark need to build the Golden Age of individualistic minds
in our consuming society, might it not? On an exhausted earth suffering from
the wild over productive system’s abuses, why do we still need to
subconsciously sanctify Economy and try to see the good sides of it?
And here is David Lyle’s reply. By striding along flea markets and
auctions, this tireless snooper who exhumes photographs of his favourite years
offers us a personal vision. Collages, first step of his work, must be seen as
the artistic expression of teenage years reminiscences. Then, he applies on
wood panels a white gesso that he
enhances with black oil put on a brush to later make shades thanks to a cloth.
David Lyle gives a portrayal of a triumphant state walking back out victorious from
the WWII and tending to spread over its universal model of happiness. And that’s
what photography taught us. Lyle distorts the meaning by putting
incoherent and contradictory elements from his personal archives with a
particular attention to details. He turns his nose up at clichés with a dark
touch of humour coloured with compassion and lets the unease gradually and
slyly settle through those joyful images full of that happiness so peculiar to
the American way of life.
A certain impression of oddness emerges from such paintings, the same feeling
we have in front of Robert Frank’s pictures or the Cohen Brothers’ disturbing
images like Barton Fink or Barber can show.
If only all these collectors of old vinyl records, vintage polaroids or posters
could become aware of the treasures they own! And could consider how naïve
their fantasies are! Maybe they would conclude that it really is a gloomy
In the painting “Words of Wisdom”, a
housewife of the 50’s is looking a string with Nike’s slogan “Just do it” on it. “If you see something, say
something” shows a passenger in a bus that holds with detachment a bomb
on his knees next to his indifferent neighbours plunged into their reading.
Time” he evokes the process of colonization of television establishing
itself into American homes around which the whole family gathers, evocation of
an idyllic image that promotes the benefits of individual success. Lyle,less angelic, suggests that things have already turned over. On screen,
an episode of The Simpsons shows a
sociopath Homer while struggling his son Bart in a comical gesture but quite
violent. For the artist, this series is hiding only partly its innocence behind
a cynic side yet highly asserted.
Lyle still remains an artist totally involved in his time. In his most
recent series “Graffiti”, and especially in “The Dealer”, he is very
critical of the Street Art status in contemporary art.
His birth on an occupied island must
have had a great influence on his subconscious. Lyle is born in a country
in situation of armed peace that has obliged ideals all over the world even if
they were useless. He expresses that kind of sensations through a subversive
language like these writers that decided to break free from conventions did: Kerouac
and his relentless flee from traditional values of his time, Burroughs and his
crazy collage of Naked lunch’s disjointed
chapters, and Bukowski with his poetic provocative vision of free love and sex.
with a personal way, pursues this process of demolition.
ADDICT Galerie will show off
for the first time in France David
Lyle’s work through the personal exhibition “Bits and Pieces”.