David M. Hicks received an M.F.A. in painting from Indiana University at Bloomington in 2008. Highly influenced by muralists, as well as narrative figure painters, the themes in Hicks’ work range from introspective narratives to resurrecting the mono-myth of the hero’s journey in contemporary experience. David was the recipient of a fellowship at the Herron School of Art and Design, and later a visiting lecturer position at the same. Recent exhibitions include the 2016 Williams Prize in Drawing Exhibition at the Silpe Gallery at the Hartford Art School in Hartford Connecticut, solo exhibitions at the Foundry Arts Center (St. Charles, Missouri), Tennesse Tech University, Harrison Center for the Arts (Indianapolis); and group exhibitions at the James May Gallery (Algoma, Wisconsin), and the Raymond James Stutz Gallery in Indianapolis.

Artist Statement:

My current body of work consists of large-scale narrative drawings. In my narratives, I explore opposing concepts of immorality and innocence, power and weakness, or masculinity and femininity. The characters in my narratives are archetypes, representing different portraits of these opposing themes, such as the innocent child or the wild gunman. Using the stage of an epic battle scene as my backdrop, I draw connections between cause and affect, or character and destiny. These connections are most clearly illustrated in the path of a bullet, a thread of string, or a banner of text. They are visual, metaphorical, and literal connectors, tying one character’s action to another character’s receipt of that action, intertwining their roles in the narrative. My work pictures the dynamics of human connection and dysfunction through metaphorical narratives of human relationships.

Working in a metaphorical language allows me to embody multiple conceptual ideas in a single figure. Layering these figures in a large-scale composition gives me the opportunity to address personal narrative, universal themes, and current events, all within the same piece. Working on the same drawing for an extended period of time allows me to build a high level of complexity, intensifying the presentation to an “all-at-once” moment for the viewer to ponder.

My body of work also includes 3-dimensional pieces and laser engravings. These are thematically tied to the large-scale narratives, functioning as formal and conceptual portraits of the characters in the drama.