In case you have not heard (and Dave is unlikely to tell you himself, so modest is he) David Higgins is one of the six established regional artists featured in the 5th Rochester Biennial at the Memorial Art Gallery. This exhibit runs from June 10th – August 5th, 2012.
It is well worth the trip to Rochester.
Dave has been teaching at Corning Community College since 1991. He exhibits here at West End Gallery and you can see more of his work on his Artist Page: http://www.westendgallery.net/photo-gallery/Artist-Gallery-David-Higgins
In her review of the Rochester Biennial for the City Newspaper of Rochester Rebecca Rafferty writes about David Higgins’ work:
“It’s becoming a trend that the MAG likes to hide each “Biennial’s” breathtaking oil paintings in the far back portion of the gallery. There you will find the work of David Higgins, a painter with a purely poetic grasp on language. His artist statement reads: “Sometimes houses are skulls. Sometimes they are accretions of debris, like the weird little casings that caddisflies build from sand and pine needles. At night, they are cells in a larger organism, chambering sleepers in the dark.”
Most of Higgins’ works are near-photo-real tributes to houses from the older neighborhoods of Elmira, Binghamton, Cortland, and Rochester, as they “slip further into decrepitude.”
I’d never heard the phrase “ruins porn,” offered by the curator’s essay, but it’s certainly a fitting term for the genre to which Higgins belongs, though he is at a less dramatic end of the genre’s scale. In his work, small things are off in familiar scenes: houses are missing portions of their siding, or posts in railings. In “Railroad Tracks,” a big storm looms over wild shrubs and a random dining room chair. Elsewhere, skinny stray dogs look after one another beneath a rusty overpass.
Curiously, the artist departs from the remnants for a moment to showcase “Peep Show,” a framed work of eight tiny, light-up dioramas. Each gives an immediate dainty impression, but upon closer inspection, something is awry. “When it Rains it Pours” shows the Morton Salt girl apprehended not by a cute pup, but by a pit bull. “Hartford Circus Fire, 1944” alludes to the instance when Barnum & Bailey waterproofed its tent with paraffin, which was burned down by a juvenile delinquent’s cigarette.
Amid so many dreary Upstate New York streets, Higgins offers a massive, acid-colored portrait of “Spaulding Street,” where even the dead grass is vibrantly hued. “My real goal is to make art that is the visual equivalent of Side Two of Abbey Road,” says Higgins, an associate professor of art at Corning Community College. The association is detectable, in the many instances of self-reflection and farewells.”
David Higgins will be giving an Artist Lecture on Thursday, July 12 at 11am in the Memorial Art Gallery Auditorium.