Art, by its nature, is creative, individual and personal. It is also, undeniably universal and while there is a fluid crossover between many genres and types of art in which both distinctive differences and subtle shared characteristics manifest, it is the particularity of an artist’s expression of visual language which brings life and energy to a painting or sculpture.
David Nielsen’s visual iconography sources itself in what we might call the ‘beginnings of ourselves.’ His subject matter is that of our human race from the beginning times – animals as symbols of our spirit and psyche, in much the same sense as we see this in ancient cave art ¬– forms simplified and made pure by the removal of individuality in favor of the essential essence of the creature depicted.
Nielsen takes this one step further; by ‘paving’ and segmenting the surface, he creates a feeling of reverence for mother earth. We are all familiar with images of what the earth looks like when it is dry, what happens to a river bed with low water and hot sun, and we know, on a deep spiritual level, that water is the source of life and that animals give us the gift of our continued existence. His paintings celebrate these “big” concepts while still allowing us to look at the work on a much more manageable scale emotionally.
By not using traditional, single point perspective, Nielsen’s forms are allowed to become blocky, thus taking yet another step away from a more obvious representational style. Color is bright, boldly heraldic and very conscious. It takes subjects that are familiar and places them in a modernist space that can be both playful and assertive. By portraying his animal subjects: frogs, fish, geese, turtles, elephants, bulls, bears, moose and dogs, to name a few, in a manner which tends to the Shamanistic, Nielsen has chosen to straddle both the visual and spiritual worlds.
Underpinning the theoretical and visual aspects of Nielsen’s art are years of education and the pursuit of professional experience. He holds an MFA from Florida State University; has an extensive biography and has worked in both the design and art gallery worlds for many years.
Jules Bekker, gallery director