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David Disko Head shot .jpg

As a kid I was a rolling stone; my family was always on the move. I could never put down roots and never knew I wanted
to. As an adult, I found I could choose to stay or go; first making the western U.S., then specifically Albuquerque my
home. My work reflects this choice, and the things I see and know well that are all around me.
In the early 80’s I exhibited my work in solo and group shows at the University of Utah and Springville Art Museums, Salt
Lake Art Center and the Ogden Union Station Gallery. During this time to make my way, I fabricated large scale metal
sculpture and signage at Wasatch Bronzeworks and designed office and retail interiors.
Coming to Albuquerque in the late 80’s, for two-plus decades my focus shifted to building construction. In 2009 a
professional change allowed me to resume art making. Since then, I’ve exhibited at the Albuquerque International
Sunport, the Harwood Art Center and Casa Cultura in Albuquerque. I’ve participated in group shows and fairs in New
Mexico, California, Colorado, Florida, New York and Texas. I reside in Albuquerque’s North Valley.

My paintings are more often than not on re-purposed canvases or Gator Foam panels. I paint over former images, but
don’t sand down the surface before I start anew; rather, I leave what came before to show through/live on. Thus, daubs
and licks of paint become the ground for new images. I especially like the way the ghosts of former images provide glint
and contrast in gold spray painted areas in the new work. Texture for me is a topography of the past.
I combine images in my work, a river scene from one of my cell phone photographs with trees from another and a sky-
scape from a third. Where actually the skies were turquoise or gray, I may paint them lavender and tangerine. With rare
exception, my work is un-peopled, their imprint is there but they for the moment are absent.

On foot, close to my home, and within a one mile radius from it, is the river, a sprawling neighborhood with houses and
yards, and a park. On a walk, I notice a neighbor’s positively animate Prickly Pears; where Stem-Cladodes are engaged in
quiet conversation, while others lounge about in shadow. At the park a fiery sunrise back lights playground equipment
that come to life, anticipating the children that will soon engage it. Along the river I see a rainbow whose colors at one
end pierce dark clouds. The other end bends towards me in a broad arc, reflected in the golden glint of the water.
By car, ribbons of New Mexico’s highways connect the long distances from town to town. As seen through my
windshield, the landscape is animate and ever changing, the horizon seems near, although it is not. Land forms are
indeterminate, their colors include blues and grays, khaki and cadmium. The sky is so very large, it dwarfs all else. Clouds
take the form of benign puffs and elegant streamers, but can also morph into ominous battle cruisers-deliverers of
lightning. The space in between can be turquoise, it can be multi-colored and vividly hued, or it can be a matte gold
dotted by crows.
In the Southwest, when the angle of the sun is right, a shadow world can be observed where objects natural and
manmade are depicted in ways that are relatable, but whose meanings are simultaneously changed. Whereas a tree is
just a tree, in the world of shadow it is animate and can become whatever or whomever the viewer makes of it.
Shadows are not faithful representations of the objects that cast them. They are instead doppelgangers with a life of
their own, marks and thrusts on a ground of broad color, animate creations; monsters and angels. Shadows exist in a
world parallel to our own but not of it, and they are shape-shifters-owing to even the slightest passing cloud they can
become something else, or disappear entirely.
I’m a believer that a person’s art should reflect what they know. I have made a point of noticing what is near and what is
far-but still familiar; sunrises and sunsets, shadow and rainbows. I have never tired of the childhood game of ascribing
animal and vegetable, real or mythic attributes to clouds, and assigning each to worlds o
f dark or light. My hope is that I carry on noticing!


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