At midday, March 17th, 2020, Macron’s government decided to place France in suspended animation. Total confinement. The first in a series of strict debilitating lockdowns to combat the spiralling Covid-19 pandemic. This first confinement lasted 55 days. It ended on 11th May 2020. The first part of a dramatic trilogy.
One month in, in April 2020, David West picked up a box of pastels that used to belong to his mother. He had had them for many years but never used them. New to the medium, locked in his Paris studio, he sets himself to the task. Naturally, violence ensues. Folk horror. Animals are disembowelled. Faceless sexualised female bodies perform. Screaming faces educate. Covered figures stand motionless. Shadows. Hooded beings populate. Stabbing, scratching, fading, softening, sforzando. Crescendo. Schadenfreude.
Occasional respite comes when West ventures outside - andante - but the externalised screaming pushes him back in. Hagazussa. Ghosts from West’s past, real and unreal, appear and disappear, figures and shapes, compositional arcs, a slimy snaking emerald hand parts the waves for colour to gush forth a new language verde fosforescente, worm purple, rosa shocking, vermillion, cobalt, ultra-black.
This book reproduces a small selection of some 300 works, in chronological order, in an attempt to document time, evolution, revolt, epiphany and joy. Joy in colour, horror, form, symphony, and finally, West’s visions of a new utopia. Marcato. Decrescendo.
Softcover (21cm x 29.7cm)
Signed and numbered by David West