Man Reading Messages
2019 – Oil on canvas
In a series of paintings, images appropriated from a cam sex site depict bare-chested young men in the solitude of their domestic environs, engaging with their mobile phones, oblivious of the viewer and their own surroundings. The feeling of claustrophobia generated by the small rooms they inhabit contrasts sharply with the supposed boundless world of the Internet and the escapist wallpaper images – urban metropolises or exotic backdrops – that decorate the banal domestic settings.
Referencing not only our own contemporary, isolated absorption with the screen, the works also point to 17th-century Dutch painting, with its glimpses of private domestic spaces where the subjects received letters, played music and hinted at desires. Using the language of the Old Masters, David Haines has developed a language for painting which is fully grounded in today’s digital image culture.
David Haines― Artist
David Haines (1969) is a British/Dutch artist based in Amsterdam. He studied at Camberwell School of Art (UK) and The Rijksakademie (NL). He works mainly with drawing, painting and video. Publications in which his work is featured include Vitamin D2 (Phaidon), “Drawing People” by Roger Malbert (Thames and Hudson) and ”Interdisciplinary Encounters – Hidden and Visible Explorations of the work of Adrian Rifkin” (I.B.Tauris). He has had solo exhibitions at Upstream Gallery (NL), Luisa Strina Gallery (BR), Art Basel (HK) and The Armory Show (US) and has participated in group exhibitions at the Stedelijk Museum (NL), Turner Contemporary (UK), Fruitmarket Gallery (SCT), De Appel Amsterdam, MIMA (UK), The Eye Film Museum (NL), The Bluecoat (UK), New Art Space (NL), Kunsthal Rotterdam (DK). He was awarded the Refresh Irinox Prize at the Disegni section of Artissima Turin (2017) and the Jeanne Oosting Prize (2012).