David Gumbs


Artistic Statement

Artistic Statement

David Gumbs’s artistic approach is based on a famous quotation from XVIIth century French philosopher and chemist Antoine Lavoisier : “Mass is neither gained nor lost, merely transformed”. Thus, life’s cycle, infinite scale, memory, and the Sacred, are themes that emerge from larger topics of interest such as inner/outer landscape, and off-screen. Concepts close to Chris Marker’s “In Memory”, Ernest Pignon Ernest’s “Aborigines”, Desiree Dolron “Sacred Conversation” and Karl Blossfeldt life’s work.

David’s painting and drawing universes are shaped from thousands of interlaced lines. These immersed spaces reveal personal inner projections from the unconscious. This process is the result of an automatic drawing act which is sometimes the witness of a runoff discharge. The interlaced texture created with and without color, plays an interactive rhizome plot of each visitor’s unconsciousness. His polyvalent approach (drawing, painting, photography, new media, interactive video) questions the “Off-screen” of perception, as a scanner of his “Mental Archeology”. His research indeed focuses on the “stock of souvenirs” that builds memory. David’s new media and photography works try to reveal these anthropomorphic and anthropologic memories.

The digital arts produced take an interest in societal context of inner representation. Originated from Edouard Glissant’s “créolité” in the “Tout monde”, from social and architectural heritage, from the lush fauna and flora of the Caribbean. These new media works are vectors of fairy tale legends of the night, of mystical trees and animist ceremonies. This Island cultural context fosters the creation of new realtime 3D audiovisual representations, new realm of imagination inspired both by the ancestral rhythms from the African continent, and also influenced by the French “Musique Concrete”, and Noise from Berlin’s underground life.


Bio - CV

David Gumbs (b. 1977, St. Martin) challenges the “Perceptions Offscreen” — the unseen, the cycle of life, the nature within, and digital rhizome macroscopic universes — across a dynamic multimedia oeuvre, including painting, photography and experimental video. 


He studied at the Visual Arts School in Fort-de-France, Martinique, in 2001 and majored in interactive multimedia conception at Les Ateliers, L’ENSCI in Paris in 2002. His work has been shown nationally and internationally, including recently: Video Islands, Anthology Film Archives (New York, 2015); Reflexions, 14°N 61°W Contemporary Art Space (Fort-de-France, 2014); Transforming Spaces, The National Art Gallery of the Bahamas (2014); Trinidad+Tobago Film Festival (2014); Beep Bop Boop New Media Festival (Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, 2014); and The Martinique Biennial, Fort-de-France (2013).


Since 2009, Gumbs has taught multimedia, trans-media and motion design at the Visual Arts School in Fort-de-France, Martinique. He will attend the Beijing residency from April – May, 2016.