David Surman uses a language of pictographic motifs, sometimes with written words, to create associative meanings. In each work his goal is to create a structure for thought and feeling that is both universal and specific. Though originally trained as a filmmaker, he now works continuously across drawing, painting, printmaking, sculpture and film. In recent years he has become increasingly interested in the projection of human experience onto the natural world. He employs elements of pathetic fallacy and cartoon form in a calculated way to imbue animal bodies with both sincerity and irony, liveliness and psychology. He also seeks to call into question the hierarchies of taste and value that structure both art and our view of the natural world. Through humour, tenderness and pessimism he shows the condition of precarity shared by all life on our radically changing planet.
David Surman (born 1981, UK) lives and works in London. He studied animation filmmaking at the Newport Film School before pursuing a postgraduate degree in film studies at Warwick. After several years spent working in moving image across the UK and Australia, he shifted his focus back to a studio arts practice. In recent years he has adopted a characteristic style that involves the creation of many different expressive works that use recurring figurative motifs such as cats, birds and eggs alongside words in a deliberate way. Significant recent shows include “Paintings for the Cat Dimension” at no format Gallery, London (2018), “Figure It Out” at The Dot Project, London (2016) and “Darkness on the Edge of Town” (2013) at Perth Centre for Contemporary Photography. He is also a founding member of the media collective Pachinko Pictures.