Although he is a prolific artist, painting many subjects, â€œDave Whiteâ€ has, since 2003, become synonymous with â€œsneaker paintingâ€ in the street culture community. A frequent collaborator with Nike, and the staple of artist of the Sneakerpimps Tour, Dave White should be, at the very least, familiar (especially considering we interviewed him last year), to anyone who is involved in sneakers. A year after our introductory interview, Format catches up with Dave to talk about his change in style, his new series, and the launch of the Dave White apparel collection.
“If you look at the works of say Monet or Van Gogh, they explored their personal subject matter through repetition and exploration.”
Format: From 2006 to 2007, your style of painting sneakers has changed. What sparked this change?
Dave White: There is as noticeable change in the new works, much the same as the changes I made from the original paintings in 2002. It all comes down to development and refinement of the subject. â€œThe Courtâ€™s a Battlefieldâ€ series showed another angle on my work.
Format: To what degree does painting sneakers become repetitive? Besides stylistic changes, how do you handle it?
Dave White: If you look at the works of say Monet or Van Gogh, they explored their personal subject matter through repetition and exploration. All artists today have a signature subject and style. The process I use means that the paintings are never the same, even when I have made numerous versions, the outcomes are very different. That is one of the main purposes of the work, to use mass produced iconic objects and make them totally unique.
Format: Your tie-in to sneaker culture is undeniable, and it accounts for a large portion of your income. To what degree has painting sneakers become the Dave White brand?
Dave White: I have become known for the Sneaker paintings in street culture which is something I never purposely set out to do, it was just a totally organic process and one I am very grateful for. However, I have been an Artist all my life and sneakers are one of the subjects I explore. Most people know me for painting a variety of subjects, so I guess the brand is more synonymous with my name rather than any particular subject matter.
Format: Touring with Sneakerpimps, you get to see sneaker cultures representation, globally, from the consumer side. How do you see sneaker culture change when it is represented in different regions?
Dave White: To be honest, up to now itâ€™s pretty much stayed the same, holy grails stay the same, the love for Jordan is global. Apart from territorial SMUâ€™S [special make ups] everywhere I have been people rock the same shit. However, change is on the cards. I witnessed a massive stylistic change in Japan on a recent trip. This is filtering through already.
Format: Who are some of the most important people currently active in sneaker culture in your opinion?
Dave White: The obvious such as the designers, peers and the people that take risks releasing product thatâ€™s just totally out there in originality. I would have to say the heads. I mean the passion and obsession I have witnessed over the past five years is incredible.
Format: Please speak about the Internetâ€™s effect on sneaker culture.
Dave White: How many people start their day with a quick few hits to Freshness, Slam, and Hypebeast etc. The effect on the culture is unsurpassed. The hunger for information on all aspects of sneaker culture means the Internet is really the only place that can keep up with the sometimes infinite information that quickly becomes yesterdays news.
Format: 2007 marked the release of the Dave White apparel collection. Please speak about the development of the line.
Dave White: Firstly the brand is all about the paintings, thatâ€™s the source. We spent over 18 months getting it right. Being able to capture the texture and exact surface of the original canvases. The full color Sneaker Tees are screened over 10 times. The most important aspect was quality and this came right through.
Format: What was the response to the collection?
Dave White: Amazing to be honest with you, itâ€™s repped all over the globe in the places we wanted it to be in. We were totally overwhelmed by the reply and couldnâ€™t meet the demand, so sorry for those that missed out. It was cool to receive such as nice reception on the first drop, from established retailers globally and also from folks just dropping me an email or message on MySpace.
Format: What is the status of the brand now? Youâ€™ve only dropped one collection, when is the follow-up and what can people expect?
Dave White: Season One closed and sold out. I have just finished Season Two and we are sampling at the moment. The materials and processes are going to be hot. Also I have based a number of items on a few of my favourite colorways. Also there are a few surprises.
Format: Anything else you would like to discuss?
Dave White: I have been working in total secrecy for the past nine months on my latest subject matter, all will be revealed in December!
More Info: http://www.davewhite.me.uk