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Gallery

Modern-day totem poles constructed from Americans’ favorite consumer materials—cars, beer cans, even cheeseburgers.

Of his series “Material World,” currently on view by appointment at London’s Roman Road Project Space, David Welch writes, “Material World is my response to our contemporary consumer milieu. By treating these artifacts of consumer culture as Duchampian-inspired Assisted Readymades, I photograph assemblages, constructed by my own hand to form monuments and totems that serve as precarious externalizations of culture and social biography.”

David Welch is an American artist and educator who holds degrees from the University of Massachusetts, Boston (B.A. Economics, 2002) and the Savannah College of Art and Design (M.F.A. Photography, 2011). His photographs have been exhibited internationally, including recent solo exhibitions at Festival Internacional De Fotographia, Belo Horizonte, Brazil; Roman Road Project Space, London. Welch has an extensive group exhibition record, including the highly regarded Flash Forward Festival, touring Toronto, London and Boston. David has received several awards for his photography, including awards from Magenta Foundation and Photolucida’s Critical Mass Top 50. His work is included in the collections of Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX; Center for Fine Art Photography, Ft. Collins, CO; Roman Road Project Space, London, UK; Martha’s Vineyard Hospital; and many private collections.

All images used with permission, all rights reserved, copyright © the artist.

The Morning News:

How do one of your totem poles begin?

David Welch:

They begin as a mental sketch. Then I gather materials and start stacking. Location is important. Then I simply build them.

TMN:

Which of the photographs best connects with objects you personally find meaningful?

DW:

All of them, really. The work is both comment and confession, so the items represent personal consumption as well.

TMN:

What’s your favorite appliance around the house?

DW:

Coffee-bean grinder.

TMN:

When are you afraid?

DW:

Nothing makes me more nervous than those moments before a commercial shoot. Portraits, too. I have too many expectations.

TMN:

Do you consider yourself a sculptor?

DW:

Not yet.

TMN:

When was the last time you looked at a piece of someone else’s art and were confused?

DW:

I just saw two Calder mobiles at a private residence today and was a bit disappointed. Then a nice breeze entered the house which quickly changed my opinion!

TMN:

Aldous Huxley wrote, “If war, waste, and moneylenders were abolished, you’d collapse.”

DW:

It’s all precarious, like one of my totems. But, also an illusion; you can choose when, where, and how to participate.