David W. Whitfield’s intriguing watercolors expertly use the medium to push the limits of the subject matter and vice versa. Whitfield appears infinitely flexible - he switched to gestural figure painting after many years of creating Surrealist art, and is exploring acrylic as well as working in watercolor. His boundless imagination is very present in his work, which buzzes with images-within-images, free association, and impossibly bright colors. Figures pile up on one another, superimposed like ghosts, each absorbed in their own vignette. They vary wildly in size and can stand on top of each other’s heads. Sometimes they seem to be part of one group, but at other times appear unrelated to one another. Whitfield exercises the transparency of the paint, which can be taken to delicate extremes, to build his compositions into stories of novelistic proportions. Where his figures overlay, they inform each other’s narrative. With an exaggerated palette, fine texture, and realistic detail, the paintings are both real and unreal.
Whitfield was born in England and today lives in France. He has exhibited in Scotland, Austria, France, Italy, the United States, and all around England, and is widely published.