For his first solo exhibition at Seminal Projects, titled I’ve got a river of life flowing out of me, David Adey continues to explore and expand upon an ingenious photo-sculptural strategy that he developed in early 2007 using ordinary craft punches and pins. Although Adey’s style is complex and difficult to categorize, his work manages to maneuver, with liquid ease, between the sacred and profane, high and low—as well as photography, sculpture, video and installation. The works in this exhibition will include both small and large-scale images appropriated from recent covers of “People” magazine and “Bebe” fashion bus-shelter posters. In the Project Space, Adey will present a separate sculptural installation (titled I’ve got a river of life flowing out of me) comprised of a dismembered bear created from thousands of drywall screws and shredded, recycled magazine pages. Like the “pin” works, the “screw” piece furthers the idea of creating the ‘whole out of the many’ and asks us to reconsider if the body is truly ‘the sum of its parts.’
David Adey’s work traverses between the perverse and the spiritual as it brings to the fore issues of religion, sexuality, and desire, collecting and consuming, and pop-culture and its obsession with celebrity. Adey invites the viewer to examine Western culture’s fetishization of the flesh via the media’s seemingly endless preoccupation with the “beautiful” bodies of female and male stars and starlets. There is an omnipresent touch of the macabre—a maniacal precision of the serial killer about his work—that makes it all the more prophetic. Adey’s photo-sculptural strategies leave the viewer to ponder who and what will end up defining contemporary culture, historically, and to provoke questions into the very subject and essence of worship today.
Art critic and blogger Kevin Freitas (artasauthority.com) has made this incisive observation of David Adey’s work: “Using ordinary ‘craft’ punches, Adey pilfers today’s fashion magazines and dissects hundreds of flesh tone shapes from the models glamorously displayed within their glossy pages, and then resurrects the victims in works that are simply astounding in their complexity of design and simplicity of idea and construction. Each punched shaped is pinned (crucified) like some entomological collection to a Styrofoam background and turned into some of the most sensual and seductive – devilish and pornographic – orgy of sublime collages ever seen. Adey’s transformations show that it is not any more bizarre to take a digital image of a “live” model, reproduce it and present it as an actual living breathing being—as truth—then it is to reverse that process, as he does, by bringing an idea or “impression” back into the realm of an object or fact. He is a magician and a whore (figuratively speaking), turning tricks in an ultimate visual game of pure seduction and sensations, visually reproducing the pleasures of the surface time and time again.
David Adey earned his MFA in 2002 from Cranbrook Academy of Art, Bloomfield Hills, MI., and BA in 1994 from Point Loma Nazarene University, San Diego, CA. He lives in San Diego and is currently professor in the Department of Art & Design at Point Loma Nazarene University. Seminal Projects will present a major ceramic and neon sculptural installation by David Adey at the Aqua Wynwood Art Fair in Miami this coming December 3-7, 2008.