David Soukup [born 1985] is known for his stunning hand-cut stencil paintings of the urban environment which lie at the boundary between photo-realism and graphic design. Soukup catalogs city life, specifically the life in his hometown of Chicago, and the decaying and now forgotten alleys and fire escapes of a previous life. His paintings reflect accumulated memories and experiences, with rich texture, abstract, and intentional elements and techniques.
Living in Chicago, he was surrounded by an endless possibility of inspiration and a city that showcased some of the best architecture in the world. Using elements of graphic design, collage, mixed media, and reclaimed materials, David’s work is a reflection and experience of his everyday life. His work has taken on several themes and approaches, but has recently returned to his original obsession of photo-realism as he begins to document his daily routine and emotional response to the city around him. David began documenting the remains and last-standing buildings and elements that continue to be destroyed to make way for new growth. In a way, his work is a reflection of a time that once was, cataloging a world which is slowly being torn away.
David credits two college professors for turning him onto the stencil medium while pursuing a degree in illustration. Early on, both were able to see his incredible talent for photorealism and extreme attention to detail. Previously, he was limited to graphite pencils and paper for his work, but spray paint offered him a whole new medium of exploration. Drawn to the process, execution, and dedication required, David embraced and immediately began to explore the boundaries of the medium. He quickly gained recognition internationally for his finger-numbing precision and perfection.
His artwork has been exhibited all around the world. He was internationally recognized in 2013 as the Winner of the World Stencil Prize in Sydney, Australia, and was named a finalist in 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017. His paintings have been used in numerous film, commercial, and television productions, and has been featured in Juxtapoz, Hi-Fructose, Artist-a-Day, and many other local and online publications.
David currently resides in the City of Chicago. Along with continuing to explore the metropolis around him, he is constantly looking for new opportunities, exhibitions, and adventures.
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