Untitled Document
 


 

DAVID DELLAGI

Biography

David Dellagi’s collages, paintings, sculptures and films present evocative imagery that is
concerned with the horror of bodily transformation and monstrosity, mixing art historical
influences such as Surrealism and Pop Art with influences crossing other media and art
forms, such as science fiction, body horror, pulp iconography and medical illustration.
The darkly comical and disturbing juxtapositions in his work, reflect the condition of human
life and society at present. His painting’s motifs of inner organs projected out of the body and
into the surrounding landscape and architecture are extreme metaphors pointing to modern
life’s ever-widening dichotomy between the ‘inside’ of the psyche and the ‘outside’ of society,
resulting in the supression of the self and a schizophrenic reality. His use of an artificial
technicolor palette and a formal language appropriated from the ideal-world representations
of the WWII post-war years are indicative of a fear of reality not being ‘real’ at all.

Dellagi was born in 1970 in Copenhagen, Denmark, to a Danish mother and an Israeli father.
From the age of 13, he received training in drawing by a couple of former Disney animators
stranded in Copenhagen. He began working as a storyboard artist in Copenhagen’s independent
film scene at the tender age of 14. His interests were primarily in cinema, literature and drawing,
though he was introduced to Surrealist painters such as Dali, Ernst and Magritte - the only
examples of fine art that spoke to him at the time. In 1988, he met the Israeli, but Lithuanian
born painter, sculptor and architect Evgenii Brukman (1925-2011), who had settled in Denmark.
Dellagi soon became the older artist’s pupil, and received a thorough training in classical
drawing and modern painting, centering on the freedom of line and expression, based firmly
upon classical modernist conceptions such as Kandinsky’s “punkt und linie zu fläche”, but also
building upon the Russian modernist movement, Futurism and Cubism. Brukman himself was
a champion of three-dimensional, volumetric and transparent painting, and a very charismatic
and visionary personality carrying a lasting impression on his young pupil.  

Dellagi’s apprenticeship ended in 1992 and soon after, in 1993, he debuted as a painter at
Kunstnernes Efterårsudstilling, Den Frie in Copenhagen, the prestigious juried exhibition
and home to the debut of most important modern Danish artists. In 1994, Dellagi worked
as an assistant to Danish artist Michael Brammer, whose style and projects combining
painting, sculpture and film into grandiose installations earned Brammer a reputation as
a kind of Danish Jeff Koons, connecting to Dellagi’s growing interest in Pop, appropriation
and ‘provocative’ art.  In 1995 he exhibited at another prestigious juried exhibition,
Forårsudstillingen, Charlottenborg, and a year later participated in his first exhibition abroad,
the group show
Pit Stop – Free to Go at Sylvia White Gallery in New York.  

Pursuing his interest in cinema, Dellagi enrolled in film studies at the University of Copenhagen
and received his BA in 2001. Later that year, he received a grant from The Danish Film Institute to
produce, write and direct the short film ''
Benny and the Bunnyman'' (2002). An ambitious production
starring marionette puppets, it toured various international film festivals, amongst them Fantastic
Film Festival in Lund, Sweden (2003).  Other films include ''
The Birth of the End'' (2008), a surreal
and humorous stop motion animated short film using various seemingly impossible to animate
materials.  

Over the past decade, Dellagi has exhibited his collages, sculptures and paintings
extensively in his native country Denmark as well as internationally, in Los Angeles, Mexico
City, Stockholm and London.  From 2011 to 2013, he was represented by the SOD gallery
(later renamed Marie Kirkegaard Gallery) in Copenhagen. Recent solo exhibitions include ''
Inner
Beauty''
 at No Format Gallery (2015), marking his solo debut in London. Also, ''Carnivore'', The
Danish Graphics Association, Copenhagen (2013),  ''
The Umbilical Eye'', Marie Kirkegaard Gallery,
Copenhagen (2012) and ''
Insanitorium'', Galleri Christoffer Egelund, Copenhagen (2012).  2013-14
marked an important event, as Dellagi participated in the travelling group exhibition ''
After
Surrealism''
, an historical overview of Surrealist impulses in Danish art history from the 1930’s
and onwards, shown at various art halls and museums around DK.

From 2013 to 2015 Dellagi lived and worked in London, concentrating on creating large scale oil
paintings, opening a new 
chapter in his practice by returning to painting after many years of absence.
London also marked 
his debut as a curator (with English artist Adam Fenton) of the ongoing series
''
Reality Hype'', with the exhibitions ''Reality Hype Phase II: The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Reality'',
Sct Hans Kapel, 
Roskilde, DK (2015) and ''Reality Hype Phase I: Mr Banks Has a Mental Breakdown'',
DIG, 
London (2014), mixing artists of many nationalities.

Several solo-, duo-  and group exhibitions are scheduled in the future; the solo exhibition
''Weirdo Cinema'' 
at Eks-rummet, Copenhagen, DK (2017), the group exhibition ''Og akvarel'' at
Dronninglunds Kunstcenter, DK (2016), an as yet untitled solo exhibition at KIKshh, Sct Hans
Chapel, Roskilde, DK (2017).

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