Wild Life II, aka The Billboard Mural on Woodward…

Wild Life II, aka The Billboard Mural on Woodward Painted by David Stantonessential

(Crystal A. Proxmire, Oct. 7, 2014)

“If art is important, then its importance rests in the eyes and mind of the beholder,” said David Stanton, the Ferndale-based painter whose mural now graces the side of Steven B’s Barber shop on Woodward at West Maplehurst. The billboard is set for prime viewing by drivers heading South on Woodward Avenue, yet the space is still dedicated to art.

“For me, paint and painting are very important, important on a physical, chemical and spiritual level: these are very internal responses.  So, when the experiences of painting are shared with nicholas-schrock-allstateothers, especially through something as open to the public as a mural, then the result is a communal participation occurring between painter, painting and the observer. I do believe this is one of the most profound  kinds of intimate interaction possible between human beings.”

Stanton considers art important to people and to culture because “this profound interaction has existed and occurred long before words had been invented.”

Wild Life II “is open to interpretation and has inspired many quite varied observations,” Stanton said.  “With great glee, someone told me that they had discovered the meaning of the image! Namely: The Early Bird Catches the Worm!  I very much enjoyed that personal revelation.”

He explained the choice of the primary colors and blissfully simple images. “It is an improvisation on themes that are present in the larger body of my work.dda_ad_03

Conceptually, I had three basic criteria:   First, I wanted the image to be striking in its color and simplicity.  Second, to have the appearance, to the casual viewer, that they themselves could have painted it. ex. “Even I could have painted that!” one might say with a laugh.  And, finally, that the mural be something that the public and drivers could, on first sight, register and dig: even going 40mph down Woodward Avenue!”

The coveted billboard position can be a challenge to get, as the art stays up for several months. Stanton does not know how long it will be up, but he hopes into the winter. “I had been trying for over ten years to get the opportunity to paint a mural in that location.

Really it came down to Tenacity and the unrelenting desire to paint in that unique space. In fact, keith dalton adgiven the chance, I could easily paint  new and even radically different murals, in that space, each year for the rest of my days.”

Stanton’s work was also featured in the Level One Bank Gallery in January of 2012. At that time he said “I am most interested in this primal behavior, the ability to be in-touch with a fundamental archetype of expression,” said Stanton in his online bio.  “Regardless of the form my work takes, the foundation is a psychological one – a purely unreasonable motivation to paint – free of a calculated process or predetermined conclusions.”

Those who admire Wild Life II may be pleased to know that a very limited edition print has been created to commemorate the Mural. Each of the prints is numbered and signed by Stanton. Contact the artist at contact@davidstanton.net to find out more.ctechad

To learn about a previous billboard mural project, see this article from 2012: https://oaklandcounty115.com/2012/08/02/ferndales-new-billboard-know-your-carman-miranda-rites/

For a story on Stanton’s 2012 opening see https://oaklandcounty115.com/2012/01/15/david-stanton-level-one-opening/.

Also check out Stanton’s website at www.davidstanton.net.

For other art related stories be sure to browse through our Music and Art Section at https://oaklandcounty115.com/category/blogs/music-and-art/.

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