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Dave Strick

Have you ever felt truly ‘alone in a crowd’?

I’ve rarely seen an artist capture that sense of desperate alienation so poignantly as Dave Strick managed with the titular piece. When he’s not wearing his hat as character technical director for beloved animation studio Pixar, Oakland based Strick experiments within his beloved medium by creating engrossing loops, mostly in the GIF format. Some common themes found in his oeuvre are the search for identity within the human experience and the exploration of the many facets of the passing of time. Not only can his works visually amaze and mesmerise while using a deceptively minimalistic approach, they often feel like short and darkly dreamy, philosophical parables.

Spotlight’ for instance, shows us an infinite succession of genderless human figures climbing to the illuminated ‘top’, only to discover that there’s only room for a select few. ‘AllFather’ visualises a sense of (dis)connection as an endless line of beings almost seem to grow upwards out of a darkly silhouetted creator.

A haunting ‘Cellar Door’ becomes the centrepiece in a darkly mysterious play of light and shadow and the isolation of being stuck in one’s own head the focal point of ‘Work from home’. We come full circle with a complete cycle of life shown in ‘Resurrection’ and might be witness to the birth of inspiration in ‘Revelation’.

I thoroughly enjoy the artist’s experimental approach within his toolsets like Maya and Houdini, lately also exploring the capabilities of Stable Diffusion to aid his creative endeavours. Dave’s work shows that an artist can use these generative tools while still maintaining his distinctive personal style, case in point the work that started this article. Paired with the sparse tones of Squarepusher’s ‘Tommib’, this emotional depiction of loneliness really struck a chord with me and has quickly become a personal favorite.

I think as creative beings we always try to somehow capture either natural or emotional time in a bottle and as I leave you with Dave’s forever Sunset, I wish to underline how fulfilling it is to discover artists like him who succeed in doing just that.

Featured Works

Dave Strick


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