Artist of the Week

David Leggett

December 7, 2010

Born in Massachusetts, David Leggett currently lives in Chicago, IL.  He had his first solo exhibition at 65 Grand this past March and recently attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture.

Tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do.  I make drawings, paintings and mixed media pieces. My work deals with relationships both cultural and personal. I am interested in popular culture, art history, sexuality, and race. I combine all of these things, but stay away from making a clear position. I leave that up to the viewer. I use humor and popular culture in order to bring the viewer in for closer examination.

If you had to explain your work to a stranger, what would you say?  I would tell them it’s everything wrong with the world with bright colors.

What materials do you use in your work and what is your process like?  I use a lot of craft materials. I love to use felt, glitter, gold and silver leaf and wiggle eyes. Many of my current paintings are tondos.  I’ll start many pieces at once, but it takes me awhile to finish them. Working on more than one at a time allows me to clear my mind as opposed to if I was working on one thing at a time.

How has living in Chicago affected your art practice?  I’ve lived in Chicago for a little over seven years now. I came here for graduate school and with hopes of meeting the Hairy Who group. I got to meet many of them within my first month living here. They were so helpful in my practice. I still think about them whenever I work.

When and where did your interest in art begin?  I’ve always had interest in making art. I think that’s because I was so terrible at everything else. I couldn’t play sports to save my life and I couldn’t care less about school. My mom put me into art classes since I can remember. She also put me in little league. That didn’t work out so well.

What artists are you interested in right now?  I have always loved Sigmar Polke. I found out he died the day I went to Skowhegan. I was really bummed. I’m also interested in Jim Shaw, Gary Panter, Jim Nutt, and Kara Walker.

Favorite music?  I like everything. I wanted to be a music journalist when I started college. I will most likely make fun of you behind your back if I don’t like your musical taste. I may even stop being your friend or stop dating someone due to bad musical taste.

What were you like in high school?  I was as popular as cancer and pretty sure the janitors hated me too.

Any current or upcoming shows we should know about? I have a few things going on. I’m in a group show at Ebersmoore Gallery called Ah, Wilderness! in December. I’m in two group shows in January, Heads on Poles at Western Exhibitions and TEXTURE.TXT at Regina Rex in New York. I’m starting a new blog that will be up the first week of December. The blog will feature a new drawing every day. I will also make a drawing by request every Tuesday.  People can contact me and I draw whatever they request.  The blog is called Coco River Fudge Street.