With the patience of a Buddhist monk, David Adey tediously searches for exact, unaltered images to place in his pieces. Hundreds of arms, legs, hands, feet, and lips in varying positions and colors are cut and pinned to foam board in a manner that suggests a mandala or stained-glass window. Enjoying the time it takes to find just the right element and the restrictions it places on his art, Adey spends hours hunting for pictures and placing them just so.
“For me as an artist, it’s a matter of developing or choosing your own constraints. Finding them and embracing them as a tool to make the work,” Adey says. “Without constraints, you don’t have anything. That’s the whole design process — working within constraints.” he says.
Drawing upon themes of mortality and resurrection, the physical forms pinned to a stark, white base recall Christian themes as well as scientific or medical experimentation. The two-dimensional puzzle pieces come together to create a geometric image of beauty that focuses more on the collective whole than individual identity.
An arts professor at Point Loma Nazarene University by day, the San Diego-based artist is now working full-time in his studio. His efforts will culminate in a solo show at Scott White Contemporary Art in January of next year. White, who understands the time-consuming nature of Adey’s work, is supporting him as a sort of artist-in-residence. While time-consuming, the breakdown of magazines and their reassembly into amazingly detailed canvases are clearly worth the wait.