In this painting, like others of this series, the artist explores the unicorn motif as a kind of omen that stands for aspects of pride and extravagance that flourish in secret places.
This recent series is a response to Surman's encounter with the Unicorn Tapestries (made in the early 1500s in France and the Netherlands), which are in the collection of the Met Cloisters. He quickly made a parallel between the plight of the unicorn and queer experience—not to mention its relationship to the precarious conditions of our radically changing planet.
With both humor and tenderness, David Surman uses figurative forms in his art which he executes in a seemingly easy and immediate manner.
David Surman uses figurative forms in his art that he executes in a seemingly easy and immediate manner. In recent years, he has become increasingly interested in the projection of the human experience onto the natural world via elements of pathetic and cartooned fallacies that imbue his figures with both sincerity and irony, liveliness and psychology. Through his work, Surman also calls into question the hierarchies of taste and value that structure both our ideas about art and the natural world. With both humor and tenderness, he offers a delightful reaction to the precarious condition of our radically changing planet.
David Surman was born in 1981 in Barnstaple, UK, and currently resides in London, UK. He earned his BA in Animation from the Newport Film School in Wales, UK (2002) and his MA in Film Studies from Warwick, England, UK (2004).
Surman has mounted solo exhibitions at SENS Gallery in Hong Kong, China (2022); The Tinimini Room in The Netherlands (2022); Sim Smith Gallery in London, UK (2021); and no format Gallery in London, UK (2018).
His work has also been featured in recent group exhibitions, including Animal at Racecar Factory in Indianapolis, IN (2022); The Cowboys Made Me Cry at Swivel Gallery in New York City, NY (2022); Nostalgia at Hasbrook Galleries in Los Angeles, CA (2022); Puff Puff Paint at Shit Art Club in Los Angeles, CA (2022); and UP CLOSE at CF Hill in Stockholm, Sweden (2021).