Zane Bennett Contemporary Art is pleased to announce an exhibition of David Nakabayashi’s paintings entitled Presentiment. The opening is Friday February 22nd at the gallery, 435 South Guadalupe Street, across from the rail station, from 5:00‐7:00 pm to coincide with the Railyard Arts District Last Friday Art Walk.
The French term flâneur means “stroller” and describes a literary type and societal observer who was a common sight on the streets of nineteenth‐century Paris. The term carries the associations of a man of leisure as well as an urban explorer and connoisseur of the street. David Nakabayashi might be considered a contemporary flâneur, roaming the natural world, contemporary streets, beaches and factory landscapes. He is the observer extraordinaire, watching and talking with strangers whenever he travels (which is often) and then assembling his impressions on canvas. Nakabayashi says, “You start to see the land or the city in all its complex interconnected detail. To capture it, one must simplify the information or else be overwhelmed, but the essential defining elements are enough.” The artist finds the natural landscape beautiful and even petro chemical refineries gorgeous. Nuclear power plants are mystical and the scars that human society leaves on the earth are especially moving for him. He is drawn to mining machinery, abandoned factories, road cuts, empty foundations and piles of rubble. The beauty the artist sees in these ruins is bittersweet, for he is aware that our petroleum based culture is not sustainable. Nakabayashi calls our attention to this dilemma and asks us what is coming next?
Nakabayashi defines himself as a realist. His paintings are a composite of time and space, populated with real people that he has encountered in his travels. He is always searching for the pivotal moment, the presentiment – the feeling that something is about to change, something is about to happen. It is this illusive moment that holds the key to unveiling life’s mysteries and the artist wants to be there, to follow along and document the act through painting. It is the moment of truth that has the potential to change history and David is there to witness and share his understanding through his paintings.
One of the images that is used repeatedly in his paintings, is the floating object. Whether it is a flying log or a woman in the orange jumpsuit, the airborne figure is a heavenly guardian that keeps watch over the scene below. In Presentiment Float, the woman in the orange jumpsuit is an angel, a protector of the ocean. She appears in other paintings such as Presentiment Stratosphere. In this painting, the guardian angel in the orange jump suit has landed and is looking up expectantly. The figure in the red sweater represents two time frames intersecting each other. She bends to pick up flip flops in the foreground and simultaneously retreats down the alley way. The carefully posed figures create a sense of tension and expectancy. What is happening? What will happen? These are the questions Nakabayashi poses. It is up to the viewer to find the answer.