In the Studio with David L. Hughes

By Ashley L. Voss

In the Studio with David L. Hughes

Art Attack SF speaks with David L. Hughes about the works included in "What Moves You," a duo exhibition with Dilcia Giron on view through March 29th. View the selected work here!

Can you tell us more about your work included in "What Moves You"?
Thank you for asking, the work in the exhibition encompass ideas that have existed in my work from the beginning. The smaller dimensional works are an outgrowth of my love for drawing. They all began as a single straight piece metal, essentially a straight line which became a line drawing in three dimensions which interact with with the light and shadow as well as their surroundings. I wanted them to provide opportunities for endless visual interactions. The shaped canvases continue the idea of paintings in shapes that interact with their surroundings which has been a part of my work on and off for many years. These works began as reconstructions of other images into the the resulting shapes and are defined not only by their shape but also the movement of line and color which has evolved over the course of the series from neutral gray tones to a more complicated color palette. My intent is to create work that will continue to allow the viewer to discover new ways of seeing them and hopefully always providing a reason to enjoy them.

How do you know when one of your works are complete?
This has always been an interesting question in discussions with other artists over the years. I arrived at the answer for myself a long time ago and it continues to guide my work. It may sound simplistic, but for me a work is complete when I mentally cross-over from being the artist to being a viewer. What this means is that some work becomes complete and some does not. The work that I consider complete is the work I consider to be good. Not all of my work, regardless of the medium, ends in a work of art which I consider complete—there are many more dead-ends. In general, I believe that each work adds to the next and there might   be sizable amount of mediocre work produced before I make what I consider art.

What work of art do you wish you owned?
The work that always come to mind is a Jackson Pollock Painting in the collection of The SFMOMA called The Guardians of the Secret or the Matisse Painting of goldfish in the Hermitage. Both of these works have been pieces that have always been a source of joy and inspiration.

What is an average day like in the studio for you?
This is a tough one as I generally work in spurts of inspiration and tend to drive my production. In general this is not how I would like to work, but like many artists I make my living and have the ability to have a studio because I have always had a full-time job—not related to being an artist. I am a firm believer in spending a lot of time in the studio as much of the work that takes lace there is by necessity cerebral and just being there moves the work forward. For me decisions are often slow to come and the work is created quickly.


What is the most indispensable item in your studio?
That’s easy, its the space itself! Having a place to work that is private and where you can walk in and begin where you left off is essential. That's why it is so important for artists to have the opportunity to have space to work.

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"What Moves You" is on view at Art Attack SF through March 29th!
Gallery hours are Wednesday - Sunday, noon - 8pm. 


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