The Cape Gallery Logo
on show the gallery artists email us
where to find us on exhibition Payment details
Deceased 2012

view more by artist

As an antique dealer his aesthetic sensiblities are rooted in 18th century silver and furniture. He clearly loves fine Chinese ceramics, Imari and copper. He empathizes with the post Impressionists of the 19th Century, Cezanne, Nolde and Munch. How will a man with at least half a century of exposure to fine art and craft paint? How will the past present within his work?

David Porter's worldview is on the one hand physically and substantially based upon the objet d'arte that surround him, but on a deeper, more personal level there is a shift. He is moving away from the solid world to select that which resonates within, that which he loves. The essential nature of the flower not absolute delineation is important. Roses, poppies, sweet peas, anemones and irises become fleshy conflagrations of radiant colour to seduce the senses. Dead flowers and dried fruit are the desiccated reliquaries of persistent life that lingers in the memory. Platters of aubergine, peppers, pomegranates and apples adhere to Cezanne's dictum ' Painting from nature is not copying the object; it is realizing one's sensations'. Colour gives value to form and harmony to the composition. Light sensitive, the reflections within the painting become 'informal' transmitters of the enduring mood and psyche of each work. Deep floral reds, blues, yellows and lilac reflect upon surfaces of polished table, silver, pewter and copper.

. A silent voice within these works sometimes speaks of pleasure joy and love, at others of death, pain and regret.

Light travels on an infinite curve (Einstein). It can penetrate the translucency of glass or refract across opalescent surface of old bottles. David Porter's bottles are vessels of light, extensions of his thoughts. Occasionally the light is absorbed within the dense dark vitreous matter. Resurrected, each bottle is separate in form and character, oxidised from lying in the earth.

What significance do these subjects have to David on a personal level? He describes his pain. He has been bedridden and confined to a wheel chair for months of his life. He knows there is life after death but mentions he has experienced the hell of living it. It is excruciating to get out of bed in the morning, it takes awhile to get moving. However he is in his studio by eight consumed in his work. His next composition is his last thought as he goes to sleep at night - he will plan a painting in his head, often waiting a long while to realize it, sometimes months. He will look forward to the poppies in spring and waits for the dog roses to bloom in early summer. He has limited vision and range of movement. He suffers bad arthritis in the spine. Yet his reach is phenomenal, his arms strong and flexible and his hearing acute. David Porter is a pragmatic man of indomitable spirit.

Has he set down the 'triste' of his existence, as Baudelaire in 'Les Fleurs du Mal', his agony as Munch? Or do these fraught and shaded areas give purchase to appreciate the pleasure of life and love? Thrust to ambition and an edge to expression?

Exterior reality meets interior thrust in David's craggy rock faces. Sheer with crevasses, these are driven upward. Greenery springs from the crevices, there is a commitment to renewal. These are concentrated and resistant formal surfaces. David mentions that these are becoming increasingly 'abstract' as he works them.

The flesh is stripped from his sear sculptures. Gaunt expressions, they are shadows in material form. As in the landscape work, these are defined by light without.

How will David's work be viewed, in the broader context, outside his studio?

New technology has always presented opportunities. Today we receive much of our information in a visual context, through the media. Newscasts and virtual reality present visual information in a way that is compelling yet essentially mimetic. These facilitate the documentation of contemporary art and culture, drawing the audience into the process of art making in a way never before possible. The doors are open and there is air in the sacramental halls of the Academia. The theories and methodologies defining 'Fine Art' have become more accessible; can be questioned, upheld or discarded. It becomes possible to review the intrinsic links between the artist and his subject readily; speedily integrate new work into current culture. . David Porter may have only painted for seven years, but has done so with passion and intensity. It is not material that he should render detail with skill. The impact of the work is in his power to communicate his feelings, the richness of his experience. In a simple, human equation, if the viewer recognizes some aspect of himself in a work, then it has achieved validity. David’s first solo exhibition was a sell out and the number of people collecting his work is growing.

Gail Dörje


view image larger
Title: Pommegranites & pewter plate
Size: 50 x 40 cm
Media: oil
Price: R 10 000 (framed)

On Show I Where to find us I The Gallery I On Exhibition I Artists I Payment details