David Chatfield
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Generally speaking, my experience as an expendable and disillusioned office monkey, and most recently as an overworked and underpaid Adjunct Instructor, informs my work and has gradually became focused on labor and economic issues. Initially, I made images involving the spaces designed to contain people for the purpose of work, cubicles for example, and the human beings occupying those spaces. At one point the absence of a figure (or evidence of unemployment) became an interesting way to explore the space as a stage for my ideas.

My work in recent years has been about my previous employment experiences, or frankly, my roller-coaster ride of employment experiences, from under-employment to my long stints of expert-level training in Craigslist/jobs. After being laid off for a second time during the Great Recession of aught-eight, I began researching iconic imagery of past economic disasters, specifcally the Great Depression.

I wanted to find the connective tissue betwee that era and the recent economic climate, then insert my personal experience, while trying to unify the possible disparities through pictorial and stylistic means. This usually involves layering contrasting imagery and finding the appropriate processes to achieve the desired contrast. Recently this has included combining digital collage, printmaking, and painting.

My recent work continues this thread, exploring the so-called “gig economy” and tying it to the past. I’ve recently paired Uber drivers with Hobos, both itinerant and contingent at-will workers. With this in mind, I’ve digitally translated the Uber logo into Hobo graffiti and combined iconic imagery of Hobos into modern contexts.

The contradictions and incongruities between artificial work spaces and workers, the economic past and present, and having a job while still being poor is where my works currently sits.





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