Scottish sculptor David Begbie serves as a significant inspiration to fellow sculptors as well as architects, designers, photographers and other artists. His dedication, talent and ingenuity have made him the established name he is today.
An Associate of the Royal Society of British Sculptors, he has exhibited globally and produced public commissions for the likes of the Natural History Museum and the Millennium Dome.
Begbie has spent decades perfecting his style, using wire mesh as a unique medium which offers many visual effects. Many collectors and admirers are keen to invest in art by David Begbie, and Maddox Gallery is delighted to add him to our talented roster of contemporary artists.
David Begbie art is the result of decades of practice
Born in Edinburgh in 1955, Begbie realised his passion for art at the age of thirteen. He studied at Winchester School of Art and Gloucestershire College of Art and Design, followed by a postgraduate degree from the Slade School of Sculpture.
During these years, Begbie honed his unique sculptural technique using wire mesh. This challenging material has since become a signature of his work, and he primarily sculpts in steel and bronze mesh, sometimes experimenting with combinations of photographs, prints, drawings, ink and charcoal.
Begbie is also renowned for featuring the human form as the subject of his sculptures. In fact, this has almost exclusively been the focus of his work since graduating from his studies in 1982. Now more than 35 years on, Begbie has perfected sculpting simultaneously powerful, erotic, tactile, and intimate figures.
He took his artistic style in a new direction in 2005 however, applying the same wire mesh medium to create complicated portraiture pieces, pushing the boundaries of his signature style further still.
“David Begbie is a sculptor, draughtsman and printmaker whose materials and media are unusual but whose preoccupation – the human condition – is ancient.” – Marina Vaizey, art critic.
Metal mesh as an artistic medium
This challenging medium stands Begbie’s work apart from more conventional solid sculptures. Wire mesh is moulded in a delicate and painstaking fashion, primarily with his bare hands, and his finished works reflect the time, effort and emotion put into their creation, which must be seen in person in order to be fully appreciated.
The wire mesh he uses is virtually transparent, creating the impression that his pieces are primarily composed of thin air, and giving the delicate figures a sense of movement and life in the delicate human figures.
“Each work is an entity which has a far greater physical presence than any solid object could possibly have, because it has the power to suggest that it doesn’t exist” – David Begbie.
Using light as a medium
The properties of the wire mesh medium are further enhanced by the different kinds of lighting incorporated when displaying Begbie’s sculptures. This strategic placement can project shadows, producing an optical illusion.
Viewed from different angles, the translucent mesh sculptures take on different visual densities, interacting with light to create a dynamism and sense of movement.
Bearing in mind Begbie’s sculptures have no palpable substance or surface, their impact on a space is phenomenal. He plays on the intricate relationship between the eye and the mind, enabling us to see things that are not there.
“His figures are transparent … the light both ripples on the surface and passes right through them. The effect is of a presence that is not quite of this world. It is real, but also surreal.” – Mary Rose Beaumont, Art Historian and Critic
The influences of David Begbie
David Begbie art has been compared to the work of Michelangelo Buonarroti, who is regarded as leading art history in the medium of sculpture, due to his aesthetic of human form and fine sculpting detail.
Begbie’s detail of the human form and its subtle musculature can also be compared to the works of Rodin, while his fluidity and movement is reminiscent of pieces by Medardo Rosso.
“Effective art must be of its time, as well as containing within it some understanding of tradition and the past. David Begbie’s art is exhilarating and fascinating precisely because he deals directly with a subject that could not be more ancient and traditional, but does so in ways that are only possible now.” – Marina Vaizey, art critic.
Invest in David Begbie with Maddox Gallery
Here at Maddox Gallery, we welcome those individuals hoping to buy David Begbie art. We are delighted to count the talented sculptor among our many represented artists, and share his stunning works with the public. To find out more, please get in touch or visit us at our galleries in central London and Gstaad.