"David Barnett - Robbii: Collages and Assemblages"
"Combining found elements with those fashioned by my own hand, my work encompasses two- and three-dimensional collage as well as sculptural objects. Infused with a rich sense of history, the essence of my work lies in the age-old struggle between nature and the man-made industrial world. My challenge is to convey that sense of conflict in way that resonates with the viewer."
"I incorporate Victorian era botanical imagery, ancient anatomical diagrams, and vintage mechanical components along with natural materials. Whether it’s a rusty piece of metal, branches from an oak tree, or tiny turquoise-tipped rooster feathers, the right juxtaposition reveals itself to me—the more absurd, the better. A character is born and a narrative begins to unravel. The theme of flight is recurrent, as is the conflation of anatomy and mechanics. The result is a menagerie of ethereal winged creatures, human and animal hybrids, and fanciful flying machines. In this era of mass-production and instant gratification, it’s my hope that these intimate and meticulously crafted works will also evoke a sense of rarity, delight, and mystery."
"I have been collecting stray bits and pieces of interesting objects for years. Not having anything in particular to do with them, they just lived with me. Since 2007 I started to give these stray objects a home and I called them Foundlings. With artificial mechanisms, parts of unknown objects and natural elements, they speak of some unknown purpose or history. Each with its own kind of suggestive dialog. To date, I have created over 100 pieces."
"I take a very methodical approach to creating my assemblages. Found objects are arranged in a formal style following in the tradition of such artists as Joseph Cornell and Louise Nevelson. Balance, composition and texture are integral elements of my work that act as a means to explore the redemptive qualities of discarded material. Ultimately, in contrast to their humble origins, these assemblages transcend the found quality of their individual parts to become shrine-like objects of beauty."