Artist: David DeSantis
Exhibition: Day Dreamer
Media: Printmaking, Screen print, Lithography, Ink, Paper, Plexiglass
Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Dr. Maxine Merlino Gallery
David DeSantis is a fourth year undergraduate student at CSULB in the School of Art’s Printmaking Program. He is working towards his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Printmaking. While he does wish to continue his education after finishing his undergraduate studies, he does not plan to apply to graduate school immediately after he graduates. Moreover, David eventually wants to make himself known and gain recognition as an artist; he hopes that establishing himself as an artist will allow him to fund his own art projects. Additionally, David wants to be able to present his art in galleries and earn commission off of his work. After spending years drawing and sketching custom motorcycle designs, he decided that he wanted to become an artist at the age of eighteen. Interestingly, David originally majored in Graphic Design; however, after stepping into a Printmaking studio, he realized that printmaking was his true calling. He decided that graphic design was not creative enough and immediately changed his major to printmaking. When David is not making art or working, he enjoys attending music festivals, playing pool, and snowboarding. He also enjoys listening to music; he likes to listen to EDM and hard rock, but his favorite genre of music is dubstep, which also has a huge influence on his artwork.
David described his artistic style as fluid abstract expressionism, mixed in with experimental bits of figurative imagery and expressive mark making. Much of his work is done on large, thick, white pieces of paper, which complements the already contrasting black and white colors of most of his works of art. Despite the lack of vibrant colors, David’s work mostly stands out for its intricate detail. He implements use of smooth curves and straight lines in some of his work, and others contain crooked lines and jagged edges; this gives the art work a sense of flow and movement within the paper. From the detail of the work, it almost seems as if David is switching between slowly drawing lines to simply splattering and throwing lines onto the paper; however, this mix generates accidental shapes that can be viewed when the piece is seen at a distance.
When discussing his exhibition and his artwork, David described the influence dubstep has on his creations. He stated that his work reflects the rhythms, beats, and overall flow that he hears and feels when listening to his music. He also stated that he also finds ideas and inspirations in the titles and lyrics of various songs. Additionally, David described his work as being abstract, but with a focus on a specific mark or symbol within the art work. He wishes to express his creativity through art work that can have multiple interpretations by different people. Furthermore, he stated that his emotional experiences are another driving force behind his artistic creations.
I was initially drawn into David DeSantis’ exhibition by the large crowd that was gathered outside the Merlino Gallery. I was curious to see what the commotion was all about, so I ventured into the gallery. The first piece that I saw was the bright red samurai helmet, which immediately caught my attention because of its intricate details and overall impressive depiction. As I looked at the other works within the exhibition, I was drawn in by the impressive amount of detail in each work. When I learned that much of David’s work is a reflection of dubstep, I could almost see the different rhythms and beats in each curve and line. However, what appealed to me most was the rebellious impression that I got from the entire exhibition itself. It sparked juvenile feelings of rebelliousness and going against authority that I have not felt in quite some time now. Overall, I quite enjoyed looking at David DeSantis’ exhibition, Day Dreamer; I particularly enjoyed looking at the red samurai helmet and reconnecting with old feelings of rebelliousness and defiance.