Liverpool-based artist Dave White has earned an international reputation for his paintings of icons of popular culture. Only painting things he loves, previous works have included depictions of anything from trainers to cars, aeroplanes and tanks. His latest collection, taken from his Superheroes And Villains series, sees White further explore typically boyish subjects.
The Opus exhibition 2008 (where this artwork is from) offered large, colourful canvases of comic-book characters in a contemporary pop-art style. Among those featured were portraits of Wolverine, complete with a menacing expression and raised fists, Christian Bale’s brooding Batman, Jack Nicholson’s manic Joker and a typically voluptuous Wonder Woman.
White’s generous use of oils to produce thick, richly tangible paintings is very effective with the subject matter, capturing the essence of the characters and elevating them to almost three-dimensional status. Heath Ledger’s Joker works particularly well, with White brilliantly revealing his dark menace, as thick layers of purples, greens and greys seem to drop off the canvas.