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Dave MacDowell: Art, Lebowski, And The Internet

Art and pop-culture go hand in hand

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Dave MacDowell has made quite a name for himself in the art world over the years, garnering a huge following on Facebook as word spread of the brilliantly talented artist with a stellar sense of humor.

Using anything and everything related to pop culture–characters from movies like “The Big Lebowski” play a recurring role in his work–and making it his own, MacDowell takes the things that resonate with our society and turns them into a work of art that we can both relate to and laugh at. His pieces are a commentary on our obsession with both pop-culture and the way information is spread in a digital world.

“Everything pop-culture is fair game!” he told WebProNews. “Aside form television and books, most entertainment streams through the computer. If the internet ever becomes regulated, most artists and galleries will be screwed royally….I imagine we’ll just all go underground with magazines and more pop-up art shows. You can’t stop the movement, and the work will find a way to get seen by any means necessary.”

The Virginia Beach-based artist says the internet plays a big role in both inspiration for the art and putting it out into the world; he even estimates that as much as 75% of gallery sales happen virtually.

“The internet is a powerful tool for every artist these days,” MacDowell says. “The images fly fast and free, and prospective opportunities are a click away. Everything is virtual these days, because reality sucks.”

For art lovers/pop-culture enthusiasts like myself, MacDowell’s work is particularly brilliant because he’s not afraid to poke a little fun at iconic figures from film and music; everyone from Steve Martin–who was turned into Scumbag Steve Martin for a meme-inspired work entitled “Dirty Rotten Scumbag Steve” earlier this year–to Notorious B.I.G. has been immortalized by MacDowell’s brush.

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His creations, which usually entail taking two or more pop-culture references and merging them in some fantastic, colorful, hilarious way, have won the admiration of art enthusiasts everywhere, including some big-wigs at NBC/Universal. They put MacDowell in touch with Carson Daly, who interviewed the artist last year for his show, Last Call With Carson Daly.

But as much as the internet helps get his artwork out there, MacDowell says it will never replace seeing a work of art in person and experiencing the small textural details that get lost in digital translation.

“I’ve seen million dollar deals signed just by images chosen over a computer screen,” he says. “With that said, the internet will never recreate the experience of seeing and experiencing art live and in person. A lot gets lost through pixels and there ain’t nuthin’ like the real thing.”

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“Vicious Vangogh”

Dave MacDowell: Art, Lebowski, And The Internet
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