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Featured Artist: David Porteus

3rd April 2017 Featured Artists

Charlie Evans
Charlie Evans

David Porteus is a Melbourne based photographer who we have worked with for a number of years. David creates thought provoking conceptual works that comment of different issues in society. In 2015 David was selected to exhibit two of his works at the La Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris, which then toured the world as part of the COP21 United Nations Conference on Climate Change.

David's current exhibition "Pretty Ugly Butterfly" features a series of symmetrical portraits that explore beauty, symmetry and our unconscious bias. Each work has been displayed in a antique oval glass style frame, emphasising this idealistic beauty from an early painted portrait or early 20th Century static studio photograph. Pretty Ugly Butterfly is open from 31st March until 9th April at No Vacancy Gallery in Federation Square. 

Education and background:

I have degrees in Psychology and Music Composition and have worked as a school Music Teacher. I am currently enrolled at VCA studying post-grad visual art.

 Where are you based?

I am based in Kingsville and have a home studio there.

How long have you been a visual artist for?

I have been an exhibiting visual artist for five years.

 What do you feel is your biggest achievement to date?

I had two works chosen for an exhibition at Cité internationale des arts Paris and world tour for the COP 21 climate change summit in 2015-16.

What are your creative influences?

I love contemporary dance and minimalist composers like Steve Reich and Philip Glass. Two visual artists I admire are Australian artist Jeffry Smart and Melbourne photographic artist Jacqui Stockdale. 

What camera/equipment do you use?

Basic Nikon d3300 with a VR2 18-200 lens or 50mm portrait lens, sometimes I use my Pansonic Lumix because it is small and fun! I am not really an equipment person but am developing that side of my knowledge.

How did you find getting started with printing at Image Science?

I was recommended Image Science by a friend and found the place very accommodating to an emerging artist and in a great location! 

Describe your photographic style and how it has changed over the years.

Initially my work was minimalist landscapes with collage cut-outs. After I asked a friend to model for me I recognised the value of figurative works, particularly for a conceptual series like mine have become. The latest series has included a stylist and a painter for surrealist backdrops, which inspired by my landscapes. 

What's next? (future projects or exhibitions)

This exhibition 'Pretty Ugly Butterfly' has been picked up by a Sydney gallery for next year, so this concept is going to be developed for that. Otherwise I am now working with film and continuing my work with performance art - which will be a feature of this exhibition opening.

You can follow David's work via his websiteinstagram & facebook.