On August 27th, Talley Dunn Gallery hosted a reception for Dallas’ beloved painter David Bates and his new exhibit Paintings and Sculptures. As his self proclaimed “super-fan” I was overwhelmed by the possibility of meeting one of my favorite artists who has inspired and influenced my own work throughout the years. I showed up early, just in time to view his new work before the rush of other artists, admirers and collectors would be heading into the gallery.
The show was phenomenal, as expected. There was a range of different subjects in his work, from marigolds to a shipwreck in the middle of the ocean. His paintings mirrored his sculptures and sometimes were replicated in a different medium. Sculptures available to view in the gallery seemed to be represented in the paintings, while some of the sculptures may have gotten their original form from his paintings. I admired the cohesiveness of the David Bates style throughout all of his work, a skill I hope to achieve in my own work one day. I was blown away by the way that David was able to capture light in his paintings. It was if the light from the gallery was shining through into his work. Every stroke in his paintings seemed to have a purpose and was no more or less than absolutely necessary.
I finished my first walk through of the gallery and had to indulge in the whole experience a second time. One time is simply not enough for his biggest fan. As I was walking back to the front of the gallery, I couldn’t believe my eyes. David Bates was walking into the building, right towards me. I jumped at the opportunity and started a conversation with one of my artistic heroes. He was more than cordial, genuine, and compassionate. We talked about the importance of looking at the history of other artists that inspire us and expanding a visual vocabulary. He gave me advice about how to evolve as an artist and about how he developed his paintings with more “funk” in his earlier years to his recognizable work today. When asked about his signature style and how he came to achieve it, he simply stated that he “can’t do it any other way”. What a great way to do it, David Bates.
After a short fifteen minutes, David was whisked away by the gallery manager to attend to his reception and other guests. I, on the other hand, stood on the gallery floor trying to catch up with my own mind, moving a million miles a minute to try and comprehend meeting such an influential artistic figure. I was on super-fan cloud 9.
After all the excitement, I still had to take a second look around the gallery. This time around the gallery was no less fascinating than the first. Again, I was captured by his use of color and light in his paintings. I was able to mingle with other artists and collectors as we all applauded the art. It was a great reception to say the least. Thank you to Talley Dunn Gallery for hosting such a great event!!
David Bates & I – August 27, 2016
You can view some of the work from the show in the link below:
Tate Dunn Gallery