DAVID BUCKINGHAM III Art Travelers process interview
JONATHAN FERRARA GALLERY
September 14, 2010 (New Orleans, LA) Jonathan Ferrara Gallery is pleased to present I Speak As I Please featuring new works by artist DAVID BUCKINGHAM in his first solo exhibition with the gallery. As a native New Orleanian, Buckingham will explore the profound effect that growing up in this city can have on both its citizens and those whom – for various misfortunes - it has lost. The artists will use his iconic welded repurposed metal wall sculptures to mine the memories of the “many things that ‘ain’t dere no more.’”
Of the works to be exhibited, Buckingham says:
When I think of New Orleans, I think of nectar creams at the K+B fountain on Broadway at St Charles, the late great Buster Holmes restaurant, rushing home from high school on the streetcar to read Tommy Griffin’s column in the States Item, sportscaster Hap Glaudi, weatherman extraordinaire Nash Roberts, my Schwegmann’s hurricane tracking map, Dixie Beer’s infamous bad batch of ‘75, my 1984 World’s Fair pass, concerts at the Warehouse, Professor Longhair live at Tip’s when it opened in ’77, the intoxicating fragrance of magnolias in bloom, greeting the sunrise from atop Audubon Park’s Monkey Hill, attending the first rock concert in the newly opened Louisiana Superdome in ‘75, being able to drive through Audubon Park at all hours, several nights in Central Lockup, ‘submarine races’ at the Lakefront, ODing on cholesterol at Deanie’s in Bucktown, hearing my grandfather speak Cajun French with his friends (they always switched to French when they didn’t want us kids to know what they were talking about), Ruthie the Duck Lady, Morgus the Magnificent, the razing of Pontchartrain Beach, brushing with Dr Tichenor’s, Momus and Comus (R.I.P)., Archie Manning, the barbecued shrimp at Manale’s, “Show your tits!”, and holes in my Perlis alligator shirt from the burning flambeaux at Mardi Gras parades.
I am drawing on all of these things for my show. I left New Orleans many years ago, but New Orleans has never left me. It is my favorite city on the planet and to this day is the place I am most comfortable.
I know what it means to miss New Orleans.
Yeah you wrong!
-David Buckingham, 2010
Raised in New Orleans, David Buckingham received a degree in Communications, career in survival. With an advertising background, Buckingham worked at agencies in Boston, New York, Australia, San Francisco and Los Angeles.
In the early 90’s he met Ray “Cowboy” Kelly, who had started a Lower East Side movement called Rivington School, a group of anarchist welders and poets who had taken over an abandoned lot on Rivington Street and built weird scrap metal towers. They were also working out of an abandoned gas station at the corner of 2nd and B in New York where he got his first welding lesson.
Buckingham began to weld in earnest upon arrival to LA in 1999 and from there his career snowballed.
He became obsessed with making art, venturing into the Mojave he discovered tons of old, battered colorful metal- ancient cars, trucks, hay balers, rice threshers, school buses- and began to work exclusively with those materials. Having spent 20 years as a professional writer, text and word play an important role in his work. Lines from movies are one vein of his work reflecting the major business role movies play in LA and their pervasive impact on our cultural identity. Mass culture that has been pounded into his head for over 45 years now comes spewing out in creative rushes. Cartoon sound effects, guns of infamous assassins and text lines from movies and famous sayings all created from the man-made detritus of a desert landscape.
Naturally Buckingham’s work is in the collections of several Hollywood luminaries in addition to other prominent collections. These collectors include Steven Bochco, Josh Groban, Gwen Stefani, Harrison Ford, Seth Rogen, Perez Hilton, Prada/Milan and the Cisneros Foundation.
Buckingham’s work has been shown in New York (O.K. Harris) and in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago and New Orleans.