Still Life 2016


I lived in Minnesota from when I was seven until I left for college in Rhode Island at eighteen. Following undergraduate, there was a brief period that I came back to Minneapolis and made this work.

I was interested in doing observational work but my work space was very small and the weather made it difficult to paint ouside, so I built a still-life diorama to paint from.

2, 3

In the three years prior I had grown attached to monochrome grey-color landcapes (see Grey Spaces). In 2016 I was still in love with those paintings but the overly cooperative grey, white and brown diorama provoked interest in color.

4, 5


The goal was to search for a yet-to-be described abstract subject for the series through a still life arrangement and observational painting. Both at the time I made it and the time of this writing I think this work failed to develop any useful concepts. 

Though this project has it’s value, these paintings mainly prompt me to reflect on what my life looked like in Minneapolis in 2016. I was isolated, without a plan, and not very happy. 

I remember reading Pablo Helguera’s Education for Socially Engaged Art in studio and dreaming about getting involved in Minneapolis. By February 2017 I was leaving for Japan and had failed to make any lasting connections or arrange any activities during what would be my last year in Minnesota.

7, 8

Untitled  1 - 7
approx. 5 x 6
oil on paper

(2, 3)
untitled drawings
approx. 16 x 19
oil on paper

(4, 5)
Untitled 2 & 4
approx. 5 x 6
oil on paper

found boxes, paper, board

(7, 8)
Untitled  3 & 7
approx. 5 x 6
oil on paper

exhibtions :

(all works diplayed for a time at a coffee shop in Minneapolis, 2017)
David Tompkins is a visual artist based in New York City working with architectural space and observation (b. 1992 Durham NC, RISD ‘14)