Eye Candy: Davin Watne
Mr Watne is an artist whose vision extends into several different mediums, all of which communicate clearly and effectively in his unique visual language. His screen print, 3-D installation and large scale oil paintings depict the violent aftermath of crashes involving busted, wrecked cars and trucks surrounded by or interacting with wildlife such as deer, caribou, wolves, and even a mountain lion. His collisions draw metaphors about the way in which evolving technologies intersect with the natural world, providing an interesting social commentary that is at once horrific, poignant and darkly funny.
Davin Watne’s formidable skill as a draughtsman is evident in his screen print work and oil paintings, all of which are masterfully rendered. I am particularly fond of his paintings, which utilize a stark but contrasting color palette – often depicting a snowy, roadside night scene - to convey a heightened sense of dread and isolation. Broken, overturned cars stand out among the unscathed animals which congregate around the vehicles with irresolute – and sometimes menacing – curiosity. With human clues left among the rubble – a pair of sunglasses, snowy footprints, a driver’s side door ajar – the images are both funny and unsettling – a nimble combination that packs a close-fisted, visual wallop.
Beyond simply showcasing a well-crafted technique, Watne’s works are conceptually and thematically unified in a manner that is consistent within the differing mediums, even as it evolves. I am extremely fond of black humor and find that translating it into fine art can be a tremendously difficult endeavor – Mr. Watne achieves this in such a way as to appear organic and effortless…no easy feat, rest assured.
In summary, his work melts my face.
You can see more of Davin Watne’s work at www.davinwatne.com, he currently has work up at La Esquina in Kansas City, MO as well as a future exhibition at the University of Central Missouri.