David Spiller

United Kingdom 1942 - 2018

Painting, Prints, Drawing


David Spiller
David Spiller
United Kingdom
March 23, 2016

David Spiller grew up in post-war England during the establishment of Pop Art and his work consists of bright colors and expressive short sentences. The lines are taken from rock songs whose artists also played a role in the 60’s – from Bob Dylan and Rolling Stones to David Bowie and Lou Reed. Spiller could be described as an urban artist who did prints, paintings, drawing, and illustrations. His art is a visual presentation of things he loves and which originated from pop culture. All these forms have one common characteristic; a combination of a child and a grown-up in mature and simple art.

Cartoons With an Important Message

Through his years, Spiller created a large number of cartoon characters drawings. There aren’t variations to the visual design, but the distinctive feature is the words printed below each work. He combined song lyrics with his art, which creates a confusing and interesting effect. Suddenly, characters like Donald Duck or Mickey Mouse have a more humane impression, with which everyone can identify. All the lines are from songs most of us know and maybe even have a personal connection with. They are inserted under cartoons with which we are equally acquainted, so there’s nothing unfamiliar about his art. This leaves enough space to contemplate about what was the artist’s intention when he combined a song with a character. Is there a deeper meaning to joining Goofy and the Beatles line „All you need is love” or is it simply about sending a positive message through two different sources? Whatever it is, it’s hard not to smile and feel relaxed when you go through his work.

Spiller created a large number of cartoon characters drawings

David Spiller - Young Love - Daisy, 2011 (Left) / Forever Young - Donald, 2011 (Right)
David Spiller – Young Love – Daisy, 2011 (Left) / Forever Young – Donald, 2011 (Right) – Photo Credits: www.artnet.com

Cultural Impact

Spiller was also known to collect old objects which today serve as reminders of the past time. His studio was filled with tin telephones, plastic toys and everything else that has personal value. Being directly involved in the evolution of popular culture, it left an impact both on his persona and on his work. Although he was a visual artist, he left an impression of a person to whom words were more important than the art pieces. The idea to insert lyrics came to him while he was drawing. He would constantly have a song in his head while working as if against his will, the lines wanted to have an influence on his visual art. The pieces are beautiful and creative, but without the few words you find under them, they would be empty. Some of his works are direct, some are more complex and wild, but they all send a simple message of honest love.

David Spiller - There's a Starman, 2002 (Left) / Do You Believe In Love At First Sight - 1996 (Right) - Photo Credits: Artist
David Spiller – There’s a Starman, 2002 (Left) / Do You Believe In Love At First Sight – 1996 (Right) – Photo Credits: Artist

Tell Me How You Feel

The goal of his work was sending the message of love. But instead of only giving, Spiller also wanted to communicate, have a two-way conversation. Every art piece is like a little test where he tried to see if his thoughts presented through art will be the same as of the viewer. It’s like watching the same shape and comparing the experience of two people. Maybe one person will see a face while the other will see an animal. The thought sharing process creates new forms, new shapes and by this enriches our lives.

Featured Image: David Spiller – Photo Credits: Artist
All images used for illustrative purposes only

YearName of the ExhibitionGallery-MuseumSolo-Group
2015SpillerPortland GallerynUK / LondonSolo
2014At the GalleryAntwerp, BelgiumSolo
2014A Portrait of the ArtistGuy Pieters, Knokke, BelgiumSolo
2013UntitledGuy Pieters Gallery, Knokke, Belgium Group
2012Just You Know WhyBeaux-Arts LondonSolo
2012Just You Know WhyFischerplatz Gallery, Ulm, GermanySolo
2012Just You Know WhyGuy Pieters Galerie, Latem, Belgium Solo
2011UntitledHarley Gallery, Wellbeck Collection, NottinghamshireGroup
2011UntitledGuy Pieters Gallerie, Knokke, BelgiumGroup
2011SpillerGuy Pieters Gallerie Knokke Belgium Solo
2011SpillerGallery Moderne Silkeborg DenmarkSolo
2010SpillerGalerie Tournesol, Vichy, FranceSolo
2010SpillerVillegle Museum, Saint Gratien, FranceSolo
2010SpillerBeaux-Arts, LondonSolo
2009SpillerGalerie Guy Pieters, St Paul de Vence, FranceSolo
2009UntitledGalerie Moderne, Silkeborg, DenmarkGroup
2009 Trying to Get to Heaven Before They Close the DoorBeaux Arts, London SmithSolo
2008Spiller Galerie Tournesol, Lyon, FranceSolo
2008SpillerWilly Schoots Gallery, EindhovenSolo
2008SpillerInteratrium Gallery, Porto, PortugalSolo
2008SpillerBeaux Arts, London Solo
2008UntitledGalerie Wild, Frankfurt, GermanyGroup
2008SpillerGalerie Moderne, Silkeborg, DenmarkSolo
2007SpillerGalerie Guy Pieters, St Paul de Vence, FranceSolo
2007Spiller Mannheim Kunstverein, Mannheim, GermanySolo
2007SpillerGalerie Wild, FrankfurtSolo
2007SpillerGalerie Guy Pieters, Knokke, Belgium Solo
2006SpillerApart Media, Amsterdam Solo
2006UntitledGalerie Moderne, Silkeborg, DenmarkGroup
2006UntitledSummer Show, Beaux Arts, LondonGroup
2006Mickey dans tous ses étatsArtcurial Paris Group
2005Midwest kunstHerning Museum, DenmarkGroup
2005SpillerGalerie Wild, Frankfurt, GermanySolo
2005SpillerGalerie Wild, Frankfurt, GermanySolo
2005Love for saleBanksideGroup
2005UntitledGalerie Moderne, Silkeborg, DenmarkGroup
2005Love for saleBanksideSolo
2004SpillerRaab Galerie, Berlin, GermanySolo
2004SpillerBeaux Arts, LondonSolo
2004UntitledGalerie Moderne, Silkeborg, DenmarkGroup
2003David Inshaw - Friends and InfluencesRoyal West of England AcademyGroup
2003SpillerGalerie Wild, Frankfurt, GermanySolo
2003SpillerGalerie Guy Pieters, Knokke, BelgiumSolo
2002SpillerBeaux-Arts, London Solo
2002Contemporary NarrativeGallery Camino Real, Boca Raton, Florida, USAGroup
2002L'humour dans L'art contemporainMuseum Espace Belleville, ParisGroup
2001SpillerGalerie Wild, Frankfurt, GermanySolo
2001SpillerBeaux-Arts, London Solo
2001Summer ShowBeaux-Arts, LondonGroup
2000Spillerallery Camino Real, Boca Raton, Florida, USASolo
2000UntitledGalerie Klaus Peter Goebel, Stuttgart, GermanyGroup
2000SpillerGalerie Moderne, Silkeborg, DenmarkSolo
2000UntitledGalerie Guy Pieters, St Paul de Vence, FranceGroup
2000UntitledGalerie Guy Pieters, Knokke & Latem, BelgiumGroup
2000SpillerBeaux-Arts, London Solo
1999SpillerBeaux-Arts, London Solo
1999Cartoons and Comics Virgin AtlanticGroup
1999Artists of Fame & PromiseBeaux-Arts, LondonGroup
1998Take 3Beaux-Arts, LondonGroup
1998SpillerGalerie Rokoko, Stuttgart, GermanySolo
1998SpillerCotthem Gallery, Knokke, BelgiumSolo
1997UntitledGalerie Ribbentrop, GermanyGroup
1997SpillerCotthem Gallery, Barcelona, SpainSolo
1996Untitled Museum Van Bommel - Van Dam, Venlo, HollandGroup
1995UntitledGalerie Moderne, Silkeborg, Denmark Group
1994SpillerCotthem Gallery, Knokke, Belgium Solo
1994SpillerGalerie Moderne, Silkeborg, DenmarkSolo
1993SpillerGalerie Rokoko, Stuttgart, GermanySolo
1993SpillerGalerie Ferdinand Maier, Cologne, Germany Solo
1993UntitledGalleria Naviglio, Milan & Venice, Italy Group
1992SpillerGalleria Naviglio, Milan and Venice, Italy Solo
1992Pop & ArtvertisingMuseum Van Bommel, Venlo, HollandGroup
1992UntitledReflex Gallery, AmsterdamGroup
1991SpillerWilly Schoots Gallery, Eindhoven, Holland Solo
1990SpillerAlexander Roussos Gallery, LondonSolo
1990SpillerNew York; Galerie Ariadne, Vienna Solo
1989SpillerTwinings Gallery, New YorkSolo
1988SpillerKana Contemporary Arts Gallery, BerlinSolo
1987SpillerGalerie Zeitkunst, Innsbruck and CologneSolo
1987Woord & BeeldMuseum Hedendaagse Kunst, Utrecht, HollandGroup
1987MaterialisationMannheim Kunstverein, Mannheim, GermanyGroup
1987SpillerGalerie Eugen Lendl, Graz, AustriaSolo
Summer Show Beaux Arts, LondonGroup
UntitledSummer Show, Beaux Arts, LondonGroup
UntitledGalerie Moderne, Silkeborg, DenmarkGroup
UntitledGalerie Ernst Hilger, ViennaGroup