David Bent is a leading aviation artist, most famous for his unique and inspirational collection of work, ‘The Art of Flight’. The highly talented artist took some time to talk to us here at Façonnable about inspirations, emotions, the American market and what advice he would give to young, aspiring artists.
Your work is certainly unique and captures the spirit of flight. What gave you your inspiration for your ‘Art Of Flight’ collection?
In 1999 a friend invited me to an air show. Like many of the thousands of people there, I started to take lots of photographs – but unlike everyone taking shots high up into the sky or three quarters on to aircraft surrounded by people, I decided to get up close and to take shots of the planes directly down their noses.
Returning to my studio, I began to create a new series of work based on what I had seen and gathered. At the time, I had been experimenting with photo collages based on my travels – doubling, turning and juxtaposing my archive of photographs. I started to experiment, doing the same with these new pictures from the air show.
Robotic creatures began to organically appear as I did this – and these “Aerobots” were the first pieces in my ‘Art of Flight’ collection.
Whenever possible, I like to exhibit my work back at the source of inspiration, so the following year, I exhibited these and some other new pieces back at the same air show. I was overwhelmed by the immediate and positive response to my work and by the number of spontaneous invitations that I received.
Opportunities to get up close to the F117 Nighthawk Stealth fighter, the Avro Vulcan XH558 in bits in its hangar and to spend time as Artist in Residence with the Red Arrows RAF Aerobatics team continued to inspire me to create more work and to develop my collection further.
I have always been very interested in world affairs and social issues and it seems to me that aircraft and aviation have a profound influence in the world around us. This continues to intrigue and inspire me.
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