"I always want the process to be as much a part of my art as the subject matter."
The retro, Pop art of Dave Lefner reflects the vision of an old soul. From his subject matter to his process, he pays his respects to a time gone by, but finds a way to re-invent its relevance in this contemporary world.
Being born into the sunny optimism of Southern California, Lefner developed a true love of the Left Coast at an early age. The distinct architecture, urban landscape, and car culture of the West soon became his main inspiration as his life as an artist began to develop. Other influences included the graphic design of typefaces & fonts, the paintings of Stuart Davis abstracting the cityscape of NYC in the 1920s, the work of Ed Ruscha and the Ferus artists, and finally and most importantly, Picasso’s series of reduction linocuts from the 1950s. It was this innovative, labor-intensive form of printmaking that seemed to resonate with Lefner’s desire to create art the old-fashioned way… a dedication to technical craft, using an innate creative ability. The process of hand-carved reduction linocut would become his main form of expression to this day.
Now, more intrigued by mid-century design than the present, homogenized world, he tries to capture that beauty of yesteryear. Too young to have experienced this Golden Age for himself, he daydreams us into the nostalgic world when American design and craftsmanship reigned. Through images like a vintage motel neon in an ultra-cool font, or classic cars designed as if they could rocket to the moon, Lefner hopes to take us on a road trip through our past. Then maybe, just maybe, we can realize fully that the journey is as important as the destination.