I create captivating images through rich brushwork and impasto. These paintings, with their strength and serenity, contrast greatly with our disorderly world.
I have been inspired to paint street scenes and cityscapes, primarily on the strength of photographs taken while on bicycle trips to various locals. Cities and towns are presented in many scenes, expressing a vivid poetic presentation. Stone walls, iron gates, street lamps, rustic lanes, rows of buildings, chimney pots, church steeples and grand dark windows are found in my work.
I express an emotion for the beauty hidden in the ordinary and create a delicate poetry within the most insignificant scene - a poetry that can not be spoken. While working on a canvas or panel, I feel like a poet who has expressed an emotional balance, a harmony that is seldom achieved. In our hurried existence, we may be distracted by many objects that vie for our attention; the poet-painter, selecting a subject, directs us out of chaos to the supreme state of mind.
Amsterdam Whitney Gallery, New York, 2011.
Edward Hopper once said, "There is a sort of elation about sunlight on the upper part of a house." Contemporary master David Culp shares the great twentieth-century artist's talent for mobilizing urban settings to convey a mood. Working from photographs taken during his travels, Mr. Culp captures slices of the cities he visits and transforms them into stan-ins for profound emotions, elevating the viewer's mind through his powerful compositions.
Similar to Hopper's paintings, Mr. Culp's tableaus display crisp smooth lines and flattened planes that create a touching coolness in the paintings. The beauty of each street scene seems to harbor secrets of the events and characters that have left an intangible yet indelible mark just below the surface of all the objects portrayed, like an empty stage after a performance. These are not, however, artworks just exhibiting the ability of mimesis. Rather, these paintings offer us an alternate reality, one remarkably similar to our own, yet significantly different. Mr. Culp likens his role to that of a poet, declaring, "I express an emotion for the beauty hidden in the ordinary and create a delicate poetry within the most insignificant scene - a poetry that can not be spoken." Indeed, Mr. Culp elevates the most common architectural features to a place of beauty and reverence in his striking paintings. Church spires, stone walls, and street lamps become the stars of Mr. Culp,s magnificent canvasas, creating tension and visual interest that is usually supported by the figures in a composition. In this way, Mr. Culp reveals the often overlooked splendor of our own environment, highlighting the strength and beauty of the forms that we encounter everyday and ultimately encourageing the viewer to reconsider their impressions of the world around them.
California artist David Culp has exhibited extensively in New York and Los Angeles. He was listed in the 1987 edition of the Encyclopedia of Living Artists in America and was reviewed in American Artists: Signatures and Monograms 1800 to 1889 and New Art International Volume VIII, 2002. Amsterdam Whitney Gallery is proud to exhibit his magnificant artwork.