David Wilson, born in Powell River, B.C., is a primarily self-taught painter who specializes in a photorealist approach to street scenes, shops and cafÈs. He has been exhibiting in British Columbia since 1990 and this is his second solo exhibit at Vancouver's John Ramsay Gallery. His work has been described as both "historical" and "social-realist", although it may well be more documentary. Wilson's choice of genre, high realism, allows him to idealize scenes by gently manipulating the mood, lighting and colours. Each building - whether the Kitsilano CafÈ in Vancouver, a Parisian sidewalk cafÈ or a street-level view of New York's Times Square at night - has a pristine presence and smoothly modelled illusionism as a result of his technique. Ambient light is low, signifying early morning or late evening. He focuses on architectural structures, suggesting the presence of people only by their dim shadows in cars or place settings at bistro tables. Viewers can see how Wilson loves the graphic qualities of hard-edged shadows, patches of sun, reflections on store windows, and signs and lettering. We can almost feel his intense focus on the most intimate structural details. Enshrined by paint, these everyday sights through Wilson's eyes are perceived as valuable and memorable.
© Mia Johnson