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david.sullivan@network.rca.ac.uk



"The feature common to all significant artists and writers in the capitalist world is their inability to come to terms with the social reality that surrounds them. All social systems have had their great apologists in art (side by side with their rebels and accusers): only under capitalism has all art above a certain level of mediocrity always been an art of protest, criticism and revolt."


Ideologically I stand with Marxism, and in general the works have a political resonance or undertone and are located within the traditions of Realism. 

As far as possible I try to keep the concerns I explore in the studio open - and work from a range of ‘found and appropriated’ imagery’.  The problem, however, is always the same – to discover the complex set of conditions, the 'emergent phenomena', that make for successful painting so that an individual work contains its own bounded poetry, its own world, and its own infinity.

Different strategies are allowed, from the ambiguous to the oblique.  The register shifts, and the themes can drift – from historical conflict or optimism, to contemporary social, psychological, or moral anxieties, but the works must have something real to say about our condition of existence, and have a connection with lived experience. 

Sometimes the paintings oscillate at the cusp of the surreal, or our sense of the beautiful, and sometimes they just emerge from the tragedy of fate… or the politics of survival.  Despite typically working from reproduced imagery the real search is for the expressive language of painting which can adequately describe the fractured world of man.  Ultimately painting has the necessary conviction if the aesthetic evaluation can determine its truthfulness.