English artist David Haines holds his first major solo- exhibition in the Americas at Galeria Luisa Strina, Sao Paulo.
Haines’ drawings take the imagery of pornography and fetishism as starting point: He builds up layers of associations based on the elements he finds within his source material. In this sense he seeks to disclose within each image its own ‘mythological’ structure, the mythological thought that Claude Levi-Strauss saw as that which “always progresses from the awareness of oppositions toward their resolution”. At first sight the detailed, almost hyper-realistic drawings of David Haines seem to have stepped out of some bizarre book for adolescent boys. The subject matter depicts young men absorbed in mysterious, cruel and fetishistic situations. The drawings, the result of hours lost in cyber space, defy their original digital, throw-away nature through the painstaking process he employs, his own absorption in the marking of his surface.
Haines is particularly drawn to the imagery and fashions of the ‘scally’ street culture of northern England, where the logo or brand name is of paramount importance. He plays with these names, such as Osiris, Reebok Classic and Nike Air, often taking them, literally, at face value. As a result, his work seems to refer to both ancient myths and present day culture. In this way the virtual realities of both past and present are infused together.
David Haines (born in Nottingham, 1969) lives and works Amsterdam. His most recent exhibitions include ’Drawing Typologies’ at the Stedelijk Museum (Amsterdam, 2007) and ‘Drawing is a Verb’ Porta 33 (Portugal, 2007). Haines has participated several festivals, such as the “Biennale dell Immagine’, Chiasso (Switzerland, 2004), the ‘Lisbon Video Festival’, Lisboa (Portugal, 2003) and ‘20 years World Wide Video Festival’, Centre d’Arte Contemporain, Normandie (France, 2003).