Bringing the Monster Engine to your art gallery can produce a great show. The gallery exhibit is fully promotable from the standpoint of news coverage; Children showing art in a respected gallery are news with the added benefit of a live painting demonstration which makes for some â€œGood T.V.â€
If preferred, a demo can be done at a local school for promotional purposes prior to the gallery opening.
Books are available at shows. The gallery gets 50% commission on book sales.
The genesis of The Monster Engine project began at the Jersey Shore in 1997 when my 7-year-old niece Jessica snatched my sketchbook and filled it with images. Her drawings were unselfconscious and possessed an intuitive understanding of the creative process, unhindered by convention. Others have explored this intuitive process that children grasp instinctivelyâ€”the idea that an artist can â€œunlearnâ€ adult convention to draw instinctively like a child. However, my goal is different. In The Monster Engine, I combine adult experience with childhood creativity, using a collection of paintings that stem from childrenâ€™s drawings.
In my illustration career, mostly the comic books and video game markets, I draw and paint without reference, often inventing light, shadow, and texture to render imaginary people and settings. This technique allows me to visualize simple ideas that many people can grasp. The goal of illustration has always been communication. A child, however, ignores the idea of mass communication by creating images solely from his or her mind. Often, a parent must ask the child to describe what exactly the young artist is drawing.
Combining these two diametrically opposed approaches to art creates a synergy of tensionâ€”tenuously linked by a lack of reference. This is crucial because imposing exact reference destroys the common language between them.
In The Monster Engine, I visually map that language.
The process is simple. I project the childâ€™s drawing with an opaque projector and faithfully trace each line. Applying a combination of logic and instinct, I then paint the image. My medium is mixedâ€”primarily acrylic, airbrush, and colored pencil. In addition, I have conducted interviews with each child about the paintings created from their drawings. All rights have been transferred through proper legal documentation signed by each parent.
The resulting show would contain the paintings, the childâ€™s drawings for comparison, recorded sound-bite interviews, and each childâ€™s photograph. Painting sizes would vary.
The main draw for this show is seeing the process in action. To this end, I have been able to distill the entire painting process down to a half hour session followed by a interview period with the child who did the drawing---this is all in front of an audience. Ancillary promotional demonstrations prior to the actual gallery opening can be done at schools in the area to drum up interest. The demonstration element to the show plays well with newspapers and TV as it is visual and action oriented.
My eventual goal with The Monster Engine is to create a viable property that allows me to roam in unexplored artistic territory yet can reach many people through gallery shows, books, TV and digital media.
May 3- May 31, 2012, Sacred Gallery , New York, NY, solo show, â€œThe Monster Engineâ€
October 24- January 1, 2009, Wax Poetic Gallery , Burbank CA, solo show, â€œThe Monster Engineâ€
July 11-August 11, 2009, Copro Nason Gallery, Santa Monica, CA, group show, â€œMonsters?â€
September 30-November 11, 2008, Kustom Kulture Gallery, Baldwin, NY, group show, â€œBrushes, Needles and Burnouts 2008â€
September 30-November 11, 2006, Kustom Kulture Gallery, Baldwin, NY, group show, â€œBrushes, Needles and Burnouts 2006â€
September 6 - October 14, 2006, The Society of Illustrators, New York, NY, group show You Must Have Been A Beautiful Baby
June 28â€“July 29, 2006, The Society of Illustrators, New York, NY, group show, â€œ17th Annual Members Open.â€ Winner, Certificate of Merit.
November 18-January 10, 2006, Kustom Kulture Gallery, Baldwin, NY, Solo show, â€œThe Monster Engine 2â€
Sept.7- Oct. 1, 2005, The Society of Illustrators, New York, NY, group show, Spectrum: The Best in Contemporary Fantastic Art
March 3-April 6, 2005- Mohawk Valley Community College, Utica, New York. Solo show.â€
November 13-December 13, 2004- Arthouse 60 llc, Zionsville Indiana. A group show titled â€œEclectica.â€
November 5-December 5, 2004- Hope Gallery, New Haven, Conn. Annual group Halloween show.
October 18-November 5, 2004- The Society of Illustrators, New York, NY. A one man show and demonstration/stage presentation with kids, titled â€œThe Monster Engine.â€
May 1-June 13, 2003-Joseloff Gallery, in conjunction with the Richard Koopman Chair Grant for teaching, University of Hartford, West Hartford Conn. A three person career retrospective of Murray Tinkelman, Brian Ajar and David DeVries titled â€œMaster Class: Illustration.â€
April 3-May 6, 1999-Words and Pictures Museum, North Hampton, Mass. Two person show titled, â€œSpotlight: Dave DeVries & Tom Fleming.â€
Feb. 13-April 17, 1999-The Society of Illustrators, New York City. 41st juried annual exhibition. One painting titled â€œTurbo Bonnet and Cakemixâ€ included as part of a 400 person group show.
Sept. 5-Oct. 6, 1997-The Society of Illustrators, New York City. â€œOur Own Show.â€ One painting titled â€œThe Travelersâ€ included as part of a 300 person group show.
Sept. 7-Oct. 9, 1996-Four Color Images Gallery, New York City. Five paintings part of the annual group show.
March 8-April 6, 1996-Four Color Images Gallery, New York City. Two man show titled, â€œDave DeVries and Tom Taggart, Villians and Odditiesâ€
Sept. 5-Oct. 4, 1995-Four Color Images Gallery, New York City. Two paintings part of the annual group show.
Sept. 3-Oct. 2, 1994-Four Color Images Gallery, New York City. One painting part of the annual group show.
June 24-July 20, 1993-Four Color Images Gallery, New York City. Two man show with Tom Taggart titled, â€œTwo dimensions in 3-D Sculptureâ€
May 25-June 31, 1991-The Museum of Cartoon Art, Rye, New York. Group show titled â€œ The Artist and the Baseball Card.â€ This show traveled within the United States raising money for the Special Olympics.
July 5-August 26, 1989-Art Age Gallery, Highland Park, NJ. Solo show titled â€œThe Art Work of David DeVriesâ€