David Polka is a visual artist and graphic designer currently based in Oakland, CA. Originally from Las Cruces, New Mexico, he moved to the East Bay 8 years ago to immerse himself in the area’s thriving art scene. His practice includes illustration, interior and exterior murals, and installation. A graduate of the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, he has been exhibiting work professionally since 2006 in group and solo exhibitions across the US in Oakland, San Francisco, New York, Boulder, Albuquerque, Santa Fe, Anchorage, and Honolulu.
Driven by a continuing interest in visualizing memory as the underlying strata of our psyche, Polka’s work draws from the visual allegories of tattoo symbolism and Catholic imagery to create works rooted in the present but threaded to history, culture, and tradition. Landscapes and colors reminiscent of the American Southwest serve as the backdrop for an unfolding narrative in which swirling clouds envelope battered figures, uprooted by affliction and injury. Straddling a line between figuration and abstraction, interior psychological space is rendered in turbulent organic forms confined amongst geometric elements. This contrast between flowing forms and hard edged structures reflects the conscious and unconscious, showing the space where tangible reality overlaps with dreams, emotions, and memories.
©2021 David Polka. All Rights Reserved.