David Byrne's disrespectful illustrations ponder life throughout Covid
The Pace Gallery is hosting an exhibition of 50 hand-drawn "dingbats" created by musician and artist David Byrne, both online and in its New York space
The exhibition at Pace Gallery features 50 illustrations by musician, artist and Talking Heads frontman David Byrne, reflecting his experiences of isolation and worldliness during the pandemic – feelings that have become universal this year.
The hand-drawn works that emerged from the isolation in his New York apartment range from metaphorical to literal depictions of domestic life during Covid-19, while others address the challenges and inequalities uncovered by the pandemic.
Above: Punctuation for Podiatrists, 2020. Above: T.M.I., 2020. All images © David Byrne, courtesy of Pace Gallery
The drawings, or "dingbats" (also the name of the exhibition Byrne elaborates on here), were originally created to accompany articles published as part of We Are Not Divided, a six-week project that Byrne will launch in September has called for promoting unity in the run-up to the US elections. Inspired by the illustrations inserted into otherwise text-heavy stories in publications like New Yorker, Byrne's sharp line drawings are easy on the eyes but full of surreal intrigue and cryptic meanings, and speak of the absurdity of life in these times.
Ten works will be published each week through November 2nd and will be exhibited in the New York area of the Pace Gallery and in an online format. All sales proceeds go to the Arbutus Foundation, a nonprofit founded by Byrne dedicated to inspiring, uplifting projects. The first of these was the online magazine Reasons to be Cheerful, which was launched last year as an editorial platform and offers inspiration and solutions that respond to “the world's most pressing problems”. The Pace exhibit coincides with the release of American Utopia, the cinematic version of Byrne's hit Broadway show directed by Spike Lee.
A balanced life 2020Nature Man, 2020Cartesian duality ended, 2020Movin 'On Up, 2020Four-way boat, 2020Face River Flow 2, 2020Supply chain, 2020
Dingbats will run online through November 2nd and at the Pace Gallery in New York. tempgallery.com