Today marks the opening of Half A World Passed Me By, a solo exhibition by artist David Walker at London’s Lawrence Alkin Gallery. Independently run, the aim of the gallery is to develop the next generation of artists. Lawrence Alkin Gallery embraces visually engaging exhibitions from a hybrid of artistic disciplines.
A Berlin-based street artist, David Walker has spent the last three years painting large scale murals on the streets of France, Denmark, Belgium and New York. Featuring several ‘firsts’ for the artist predominately known for his large-scale female portraits, Half A World Passed Me By includes works of both female and male sitters. As an artist, David Walker is famously recognised for not using brushes in his freehand spray paint works which are often mistaken for oil paintings.
This show sees the introduction of brushes, acrylics and new techniques for Walker. Speaking about his new approach he said, “Although the spray paint medium is still present in this new body of work, I feel using new approaches and materials has allowed me a fresh dexterity and an opportunity to mature as a painter”.
Collaborating with Berlin based multidisciplinary artist Yuli Gates on a number of pieces, they have created works that juxtapose form and flora. Fusing painting with hand embroidery techniques, Walker explained that, “Nowadays I’m more interested in making my work more intimate. I endeavour to create things that are an extension of my life and experience, the people around me and my reality.”
Born in London, Walker is now based in Berlin and has a studio in a former primary school in Kreuzberg, one of the few buildings in the area to survive the war; “Berlin is full of life and inspiration, there is enough here to feed you forever”, he said.
Known for his unique style, he fuses graffiti and street art sensibilities with classical portraiture. The exhibition is made up of around 25 works, and contains various personal references, in keeping with this new body of work. He continued to say, “I have been completely blind in my right eye since birth. It’s not common knowledge as I didn’t want it to be used it as a USP for my work. I also turned 40 last year, coinciding with one of the most difficult periods in my life for many reasons. In the aftermath I feel far more fearless as a person and artist and far more comfortable to invite people further into my world”.