David Walters was born in rural central Pennsylvania in 1968. He attended the Rhode Island School of Design where he received a BFA in Glass in 1993.
David’s work focuses on the narrative. Referring often to the fairy tales of our youth, he weaves into the stories a more personal interpretation in an allegorical and metaphorical style, while integrating blown form and image toward a common theme. He's worked mostly with themes from fairy tales and children’s stories, primarily for their familiar and often sentimental associations. He incorporates into these cautionary tales a sense of his own history or personal experience in an effort to give them a more contemporary and intimate relevance.
David's work creates a deeply personal vocabulary within the framework of the narrative through the parallel and stylized world he imagines. The work is a metaphorical reflection of him-self and the world as he interprets it as told through a visual riddle. There are monsters and heroes among us and within us. Some are funny, some are not. We live in a world of distraction, indifference, neglect, and apathy. Sometimes the darkness of things seems unrelenting. We also live in a world of hope, resilience and renewal. The human spirit is capable of so much more than we sometimes dare to imagine.
The function of art, which most interests David, is its ability to hold up the mirror and be relevant to the era from which it was spawned. This inspires a sense of connectedness to the audience of its generation, as well as a fingerprint for future generations. David wishes to honor the original function of the story telling tradition as a cautionary tool meant to teach, inspire, entertain and maybe even frighten us when necessary.
Below is information David wrote about specific pieces in the gallery. Please also click on images to view further detail.
"Look No Strings"
This piece has a lot of personal relevance for me. It is reflective of some things that were going on in my life when I made it. One was a recent failed relationship as well as a battle with some common personal behavioral habits.
The tunnel and boat and the balloons of the Fox and Cat are all metaphors, some for transportation and some are symbols and cues to trigger narrative possibilities and conclusions based on the viewers personal experience as well as my own personal expression of specific references from my own life.
Stromboli on the side with the male and female puppets simultaneously represents specific personal content relevant to me, but also addresses the idea that Stromboli is our conscious pulling the strings that trigger reaction. The male and female puppets represent the man and woman in all of us, the ying and the yang, the good and the bad.
The cuckoo from the clock (his brain) is consuming Pinocchio's conscience removing his ability to make sound decisions. You can see the tools I use to paint the work trying to chase him down from the rear.
"Spring/Dawn" and "Winter/Night"
The wall pieces address considerations for the patterns of life and how the sequence of hours, days and years that help define us. These are possibly what the sum total of our mortal experiences might look using symbols of sexuality, utility and growth and decay that occurs along the way. At least within the framework of the narrative and use of some of the symbolic references I use to define my own visual language. The work also confronts for me a sometimes harmonious, but often awkward relationship between humanity and the natural world. We reference, seemingly revere and often mimic it, but we don't seem to show it the respect and gratitude it deserves and demands if we are to coexist.
This is my imaginary "Pre Columbian Mickey Mouse Balloon Animal". In it's mouth depicts what Disney might have done if it were to create a theme park referencing Pre Columbian Mayan Culture in theYucatan. They would naturally start by bringing down the original pyramids so they could replace them with cheaper and easier to maintain versions with a more pallatable Euro-American feel for the public.
"Look Who's in There"
I use the cycloptic-humpty character for me represents fragility, greed, hubris and a lack of perspective and depth. Pinocchio obviously represents a compromised ability to speak and accept truth. We all have an inner voice that reminds us that a lie can be a convenient, but costly "out". We all have the Pinocchio impulse creeping around in our subconscious its up to us to identify it, not be seduced by it and to act according to principle over convenience.
"The Big Finish"
This piece is about the blind race to move through life and consume resources without regard for consequence. There is a futility to looking at life through this filter. I think we sometimes blindly contribute to this cycle of consumption without reason, or consideration, or faith in a viable alternative and the possibility to live more deliberately. We're always in a hurry to get to the next finish line sometimes without regard to what we've really finished.
It was originally titled "Jacquee". The Jack in this Jack in the Beanstalk piece was meant to be a little hermaphroditic to express a universal quality to the character that operates independently of gender cues, but more universal human qualities. We all have an inner male and female voice and sensibility if we are tuned in to senses. This piece is about transportation, rights of passage and how the journey we undertake when we leave home changes our perspectives and sense of being, some for good and for some not. Regardless our sense of home and relationship to it inevitably changes. It also references parallels between the "Jack and the Beanstalk" story and 9/11. Cautionary tales always mirror some relevance, and reference to reality symbolically, which is what is so compelling about them for me.