How David Mach Turned Ordinary Everyday Materials into Art
When history and popular culture are the driving forces in an art piece, it gives us the ability to understand the world we live in today. Drawing from the pop art movement, artist David Mach has been heavily influenced by the infamous 1950s era where popular culture integrates into fine art.
Born in 1956, Mach is a Scottish artist best known for his successful sculptures and installations by utilizing recyclable materials. While studying at one of the top art schools in Scotland, Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design, Mach specialized in sculpting and later went on to do his masters of arts at the Royal College of Art in London, England.
What first started with a fascination with excess mass production items later turned into a career for Mach. Through countless solo and group exhibitions, as well as public commissions in several different countries, he has been given the opportunity to showcase his talents to a large audience. These enormous sculptures have captured the attention of many as it is out of the ordinary that artists often use non-traditional materials to turn them into something fascinating to admire.
Although mass production has benefited the economy by producing a large volume of standardized goods at a lower cost, it has unfortunately resulted in abundant waste due to consumers’ fluctuating demand. Mach has taken this issue into his own hands by using the themes of repetition and ordinary materials to design his work.
These sculptures vary from objects to humans where he has become famous for using materials such as coat hangers and match heads to create his pieces. Many of us would not think twice about using everyday materials we find in our daily lives to put together a whole sculpture. In fact, much of this work that is both sustainable and artistic relates to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal of Responsible Consumption and Production.
Mach spends most of his time and effort perfecting the intricate detailing in each of his pieces. For each sculpture, he outlines it with a mold, followed by using hard plastic to coat it and finally attach recycled coat hangers onto it. From his Golgotha coat hanger sculpture that touches on the religious aspects of the art world to his Out of Order telephone booth sculpture from the contemporary art period, his work is recognized and appreciated by many worldwide.
To “get out of his studio and share his art with others”, he has installed many of his pieces in front of audiences in various cities. In an interview with Cass Art, Mach has stated that instead of creating small and convenient items, he has opted for more bothersome and extravagant pieces where it became a “mess and serious inconvenience”. Some of his pieces have now remained to be some of the most iconic landmarks and tourist attractions in many cities.
The creativity and innovation that fuel Mach’s energy pushes him to encourage others to think outside the box and use various materials when creating art. Indeed, much of the materials he used would have ended up going to waste if he did not find a way to repurpose them to his advantage and create something unique. It is critical for us to find better alternatives and recycle these items to help save our planet.
Although Mach’s main focus is on sculptures, he has explored other mediums such as collages and installations. To see out more of his work, take a look at his website here.