I first saw the work of Paris-based artist Leslie David featured in Print Magazine’s 2010 feature of 20 under 30. Her work was primarily hand drawn with pencil, but it wasn’t as organic as the term “hand drawn” suggests. The lines and shapes were nearly perfect. Her T-shirt prints for Surface 2 Air showed a remarkable mastery over shadows and gradients. She had a very distinct style.
But, her style drastically changes. Over time, she has swiftly moved in and out of styles, each distinct from the other, yet all of them are clearly Leslie David’s. David has more recently used paint in her work, particularly when combining it with photographs.
SOUVENIRS DE PARIS for COLETTE
Colette commissioned her to make postcards of Parisian scenery. David dug through archives, finding old colorless photos, and then spread an explosion of different hues that infiltrate the scenes.
Commissioned by Please! Magazine, David painted beautiful combinations of petal-shaped colors onto old images from the magazine. With the Paris scenes, the globs of paint appear haphazardly dolloped on the surface. With these portraits, David engages the subjects much more intentionally, by obscuring a face, or decorating grayscaled face jewelry. While very different from her pencil work, it still contains a tension between perfect minimalism and human error, which is apparent throughout her whole portfolio.
>> See more of Leslie David’s work here.