University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), 2013
Art Center College of Design
Whaley’s Journey into the Realms of the Subconscious and Dreams
The abstract, surreal paintings of American artist Davyd Whaley are replete with elements of story and meaning while providing a glimpse into the artist’s world of the subconscious and dreams. Characterized by bright vivid color, rich tactile depth, a masterful use of shadow and light, the unexpected presence of hidden forms and unparalleled complexity in terms of composition and execution, Whaley’s paintings explore subjects close to the heart of the human experience and the vast cycles of energy and emotion that in many ways define our world. Simultaneously, his work focuses on the ever-evolving play of pattern and how it changes over time and sometimes diverges from the norm. Here, recognizable patterns and/or colors occurring in natural and urban landscapes are broken down and re-created in compelling artistic forms.
Whaley seeks to explore elements of story within his compositions, developing and pursuing powerful subtexts intended to move the viewer and take him or her on a journey into new areas of human consciousness. As he explains, “I suppose paintings are to painters as stories are to writers... manifestations of the imagination. I like to share these stories as they emerge from the unconscious.” Whaley’s paintings are likewise often inspired by dreams, where his subconscious provides him with new ideas to explore that are easily translated onto the canvas. Following the work of Carl Jung, Whaley keeps a dream journal, and much of his art stems from those fragments, images, and vague awarenesses that he records. The artist says that, “I believe our subconscious provides answers to most of life’s questions, if we pay close attention and if we are willing to do something with those answers. There needs to be a willingness to connect.” Indeed, Whaley’s paintings are an effort to connect those answers, to weave the fragments together to ascertain the deeper ethereal meanings and spiritual themes of our lives.