David Buckingham: Heavy Metal

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American artist David Buckingham, based in Los Angeles, uses found metal as his artistic medium. The making of his sculptures and wall reliefs are a profound journey of discovery and adventure.

Sheet metal is scavenged from abandoned cars and trucks and other machinery that Buckingham finds in the Californian desert. Buckingham’s artistic philosophy is to challenge, humour and create work that has a universal appeal. Buckingham welds the colourful panels of metal into text quoting recognisable lines from films such as “You Can’t Handle The Truth” or lyrics from songs such as “Light My Fire” and “God Save The Queen”.

Buckingham’s previous career as a professional writer infiltrates his work with the use of text and language as a powerful mode of communication. Buckingham wants the viewer to react and interact with his work. Buckingham is also interested in the role of the gun in American culture and produces large-scale wall reliefs of guns using the manipulated metal.

The guns are based on actual weapons used by notorious criminals and assassins, guns used in film and television such as ‘Dirty Harry’ and ‘Barney Fife’ and Buckingham also attributes political figures such as Dick Cheney to the titles of these provocative works. Buckingham raises a challenging debate on the use and ownership of arms and presents the gun as a seductive yet menacing symbol.

Embued with irony, humour, political angst and the physical signs of wear and tear, Buckingham’s work “absorbs, muses upon, mirrors, and upends the public language of his country, chewing on the word-image of Pop art and the imaged words of the Internet and spitting them out as profane illuminations, banners of defiance and provocation, calls to arms and calls to a peaceable future.” (Peter Frank, LA). (via HERO)