A few years ago, I had the pleasure of meeting Dave— widely known as Mr. StarCity— in Los Angeles on occasion of his gallery solo exhibition, a medley of color-filled, figurative paintings and portraits, expressionistic in nature, embedded with a rare, unique form of honesty and vulnerability, an already courageous and ambitious exhibition made complete with live performances and video works. Prior to our physical encounter, during which we talked and laughed, embraced each other, and touched on a wide range of topics, Mr. StarCity had been in contact with me, for quite some time, via Instagram, where he has a strong and committed following of believers and dreamers, for Mr. StarCity is a magnificent mixture of affirmation, faith, and uninhibited hope for an optimistic future. With seamless consistency, he bestows upon me inspirational and benevolent quotes, normally capped with the phrase “Big Bless!” And he means it. I had the pleasure of speaking with him in advance of his much-deserved and irrevocably earned piece in Juxtapoz, from which the following questions were produced, along with his responses. Avid readers and followers, and those of you newly arrived, I present to you, Mr. StarCity…
Nathaniel Mary Quinn: I think that it is important and insightful for your audience to understand your art practice, in particular as it relates to your spirituality. How do you intertwine your art practice with your sense of spirituality?
David “Mr. StarCity’ White: Where do I begin, so much to unravel when it comes to my spirituality and my creative practice. Well, growing up Jewish and coming from a large family where my father would read from the Bible to my family of nineteen brothers and sisters, my sense of morality stemmed from biblical storytelling. Although my spirituality does not lie exclusively in Judaism, but rather the universe, I think growing up this way impressed upon me the same innate need to seek and share a belief in order to find solace.
One could say my delivery of art is similar in the sense that I routinely address the world on the subject of personal healing with love in the form of storytelling, reminding myself and others of our human essence and the importance of sharing and supporting our basic human needs with the people around us.
As a recurring theme in my bodies of work, I often use vulnerability as a tool for healing and uplifting (especially applied for the exhibitions “Fractured” and “After Party” earlier this year). It’s important for us as individuals, and as a society, to be understanding, to be aware of another’s suffering in order to have sympathy and ultimately have genuine love for one another. I think art has become my platform to deliver this message of love and spreading that love in which I so strongly believe and uphold.
It is rather exceptional that you personally deliver many of your works to collectors at their homes. How did this journey begin and how does it impact both you and the collector?
I appreciate that you appreciate that! My hope is that my collectors genuinely share that same sentiment. This journey stems out of my need to document every single portion of me being an artist, making myself accessible in some way, outside of the gallery walls. It is all a part of me, the art, the experience of my art. Me and my art are one package, inextricably tied, so we take this journey together. Each and every piece I create is my baby. I want to ensure my child is in good hands, you know?
It is important that collectors have a good understanding of who I am as a person and equally important for me to convey how I consider each work a blessing, a piece of love that I’ve prayed over with positive energy, and that by this art entering their home, they are receiving all the blessings I’ve received in my lifetime as well—keep the love moving and spreading!
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