Wildwood Press LLC
David Scanavino | Syllabus
David Scanavino | Syllabus
“…The spookiest piece sets a black balloon against a black border. It’s also the most portraitlike: the mouth of the balloon gets lost in thee black-on-black. Our instinct is to see the solid black of a head against the deeper, paler black of a background but Scanavino serves up the opposite, with layered airiness within the head shape and solidity surrounding it. It’s subtler than the other works, which succeed in their smart formula and accomplished execution. The black piece introduces an unnerving psychology to the mix.”
from Flying Solo, Gallery Katz by Cate McQuaid, The Boston Globe 2003
In 2003, David Scanavino was just out of grad school at Yale, was painting images of five-foot balloons and was not talking as to why.
In 2005, we began printing in St. Louis. Using laser cut steel plates we first printed dark, dark balloons, then school desks, and institutional clocks, and prints called Construction Clock (Skin). (David took some of these prints apart, reconfigured them – a heavy windowless security door (Untitled, Gym Door) and in another black-on-black image, a ghostly white clock (Moon) hangs above a jumbled pair of desks. In Untitled Green Desk, hints of things to come make their first appearance – institutional linoleum, torn paper, dappled color.
There is little time or space for art talk in the studio – we work. But in the end of a collaboration there is time. In hushed tones, one word here to fore unspoken resonated: Columbine.
Finally, we printed guillotines.
Guillotine #18 2006
Eerily, I was un-surprised to learn recently that Scanavino attended Columbine High School. He bussed there from out of town, from 1995-1997, and so fortunately missed the 1999 shooting that prompted national discussion of public security, gun control, television, video games, bullying and Goth culture – a wide range of subjects that skirt the potentially alienating consitions of the American school system. ‘Present institutional purposes, which hallow industrial productivity at the expense of convivial effectiveness, are a major factor in the amorphousness and meaningless that plague contemporary society,’ [Austrian priest and polemicist Ivan] Illich’s diagnosis suggests that the disaffection of youth – and, by extension, the fascination with it – is a structural, economic issue. Inevitably, Columbine was an event with manifold causes.
Alex Gartenfeld, David Scanavino 2012
Untitled (Green Desk) 2006
David Scanavino at Wildwood Press
“The side of the guillotine on which you stand defines your position of power. Looking at it from one side or the other defines whether you control the power or are a victim of that power. Either place is a dangerous place to stand.” David Scanavino