David Wilson's current body of work charts iconic treatments of the natural world through representations of the universal as symbols of collective dignity and identity and are based in a collage approach. His collages may include scanned newspaper or magazine clippings, cropped digital images from public on-line resources and personally taken digital photos of random objects in nature - even of other original works that he has created. His primary influences are Romare Bearden and George Braque as he enjoys play between texture, color and contrast in his custom layered works. Some of Wilson's compositions may contain up to 75 layers. Hallmark elements of his work weave intricately patterned geometry into two-dimensional works to create a sense of depth, movement, energy and balance. He employs visual elements as analogies for celestial bodies reflected in terrestrial life through repeated shapes and icons, such as stylized figures, forms and quilted and layered patterning. His work has been best described as geometric, stylized and symbolic.
Born and raised in Clarksburg, WV, Wilson obtained his BFA from Hampton University. While at Hampton, he received tutelage in the creation of public art under John Biggers and Africobra artist, James Philips. This experience has lead to the commission of monumental public works for notable civic and corporate clients such as The Gantt Center for African American Arts + Culture, CIAA, Wells Fargo, and the cities of Charlotte, Durham, Kinston and Raleigh (NC).
A primary driver in his public works is creation for interpretation by all with an overall goal to foster introspection, communication, and provide a platform for education.
Wilson brings a scientific approach to the creation of both fine and public works of art. He’s experimented with clay for scale models, natural dyes and resins to make paints and varnishes that would adhere to various surfaces. He’s also researched and developed firing and glazing techniques for float glass paintings, studied the effects of light in spaces and discovered techniques for bending and welding metal, free-standing public structures.
Wilson’s work has been featured in ESSENCE and UPSCALE magazines and notable collectors of his work include the Smithsonian NMAAHC, COMMON, Henry Louis Gates, Cornel West, Phylicia Rashad and Ruby Dee.