By now, the Space Monkeys Dalek produced in his childhood have lived their share of history. Inspired by the cartoon series Dr. Who, the Daleks were born of an imagination developed by the artist very young. And if they seemed to some like “merciless assassins of humanity”, Dalek plays on their somewhat misanthropic instincts. But underneath it all, the Space Monkeys are “more mischievous than dangerous”. Thanks to his fervid imagination, Dalek put them through all sorts of adventures, from the Saga of American warmongers at the beginnig of 2000 to, more simply, the heartbreaks of creatures too solitary to be understood. Thus was unveiled to the world a persona who laughs and cries, torn by the good and the bads, but above all by his own life. Yet more recently hi hides, camouflaged in psychedeliccomposition. The colors are the same, the better not to be noticed, the drawing always very fine, but there is so very much more. Dalek visual language is made up of forms and colors. But above all, note the discreet importance of his line. Te black stroke of a brush, achieved with firm swiftness. Everything seems to begin there. Then forms appear, free to take off and mix it up, to create a world of juxtapositions and amalgams, a fragile game of Lego. As for the colors, they are a life force. They enhance this labyrinth of vitality, animating Dalek’s paintings with their rythm and breath. In this dialogue with himself, the artist has fun remaking a world after his own imagination. The most astonish thing about his work, once one gets over the hypnoticfashination of his precision, is the double language Dalek speaks. A positive American, he has nonetheless been sorely tested by life and is a humble but though loner. In his painting, it is what is not said that prevails, with shadows and forms concealing a second level of discourse. A visual one. Everything is there as evidence – which the ill-humored will not see, unused as they are to experiencing such force and color together. This legacy proves ever meore fascinating. In line with Dalek’s own way of thinking, actions speak louder than words, so let’s avoid long speeches As he says, “better to do and make corrections than to think about what you are going to do and do nothing.
ABOUT THE ARTIST:
Merging animation, Japanese pop art, and an urban aesthetic, James Marshall is best known for his Space Monkey character—a strange, vaguely humanoid mouse that he would depict in an array of bright colors and twisted circumstances, often wielding various destructive implements. Working under the name Dalek, Marshall expressed his ideas through the Space Monkey character until 2007, when he began moving into a purely abstract style. growing out of skateboard and graffiti subcultures, Saturday morning cartoons and stacks of comics his style and method continue to grow in a multitude of directions. There have been many formative moments in the years since Marshall started painting, the greatest of which he accounts is his time working in Takashi Murakami’s studio in late 2000-early 2001 . “it was that experience that gave me the foundation of building a studio practice and discipline.
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