Dave Higgins Needs No Magic Wand

Dave is actually a studio mate of mine, down the hall at the Hive. It makes studio visits easy. Although Dave doesn’t have a website portfolio online right now, you can enter his name in the search bar on this site and get quite a feel of his work over the years that I have been advocating for and curating his art. I asked him a couple of questions in preperation for his inclusion in A SIMPLE BESTIARY at Swee(t)Art tomorrow night.

Obi: You and I have quite a history of working together now. I think it has been about a year and half since your solo show at Zza’s Wine Bar. What have you been up to since then? How has your work changed and what are the themes you are dealing with now?

Dave: Yes Thanks for the support over the years Obi… is at least our third show together, there is always an interesting theme for your shows and it is always fun to be involved. I have been laying a little low this year, working on smaller pieces, drawings and paintings, studies for larger projects. Also doing more toy prototypes for larger companies, other artists for production over in china (as most things are) and my own “one off” toys. 
My themes, characters and images have been about the same for the last 2-3 years now; I think what change, if any, has been in pushing myself to work with a collective unconscious subject matter, pops cultures with a slant on cartoon / comic book iconography plus working with no scrap or photos has been fun and challenging at the same time, memories have a funny way of changing the way things really are.

click on image to enlarge

Obi: Your new work that will be on exhibit at the Drawing Gallery this week was Drawn with a special pen that has certainly given your work a manga-like, decidedly calligraphic feel. How did you find this pen and how do you think it has influenced your style?

Dave: Yeah I have a few of these Japanese brush pens, I have been playing with them off and on over the years … those and Japanese old school quill nib pens (dipped in drawing inks) I think they are used for inking “Manga” they seem to hold the ink and love the paper more then other types I’ve used. These new drawings that are for your “A Simple Bestiary” show were done with a combination of the brush, quill pens and pencil… of which I love drawing with the San Rio “hello kitty” HB pencils. Regarding the style influence of the brush and pens … I think they have their limits and are limitless in what you can do with them … I think that is the beauty in the line on paper, rough or smooth, beautiful and playful… it’s all in how far you want to push it and learn from it.

Obi: Your built toys are brilliant. If you could, say if you had a magic wand, what would be you masterpiece? That one very special toy, I don’t know, maybe that you are planning already…what is it? and what would it do? Any plans to show your real toys anytime soon?

Dave: Wow thanks, glad you like the toys. I don’t really want a magic wand for making stuff, because most of the time I have no plan when I start a toy or figure (of my own character) I just start with a general idea in my head and go at it. I might draw it later to refine the shape but initially nothing is planned out. (laughing) The masterpiece is yet to show it’s self. I’m really looking forward to trying to incorporate some sound to the toys, staying true to the “no electricity needed” idea, is to have the toys move, make music or other, with just simple kinetics. This fall of 2010 it’s my hope to showcase some new toy projects in a show, with drawings and painting to support them … sort of giving them a place to live, a world we we can visit, when we need a break to play.

I wanted to take a new picture of Dave but he said there were enough out there. You can type his name in the search bar in the upper right of this page and you can find a bunch of pictures of him if you want.

Dave’s drawings will be debuting in the Group Show entitled “A Simple Bestiary” tomorrow night, Saturday, July 10th at Swee(t)Art Drawing Gallery at 1167 65th Street. Oakland. He got the night off work, so Dave will be hanging out. It is an epic show.

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  1. wine bars are great. my father installed a wine bar in my home and my wife also loved it :”~




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