There’s simply no way to overstate the effect airbrushing had on Donahue’s career and artistic tactic: “All of my will work originate from the communal component of airbrushing,” he suggests. It remains a dependable ingredient of his do the job. His 2018 solo exhibit titled R.I.P. at Elephant Gallery in Nashville, Tennessee, was an airbrushed memorial to victims of gun violence from the prior two a long time in Middle Tennessee and incorporated airbrushed T-shirts and canvases. Just one of the parts, titled Relaxation In Paradise 2, depicts a lush pink and yellow sunset driving blue and red drinking water and palm trees leaning on the shore. The water—red closest to the horizon turns blue nearest the shore—comes to a issue as if flowing into a smaller sized physique of drinking water among the palm trees, signaling, perhaps, the commence of a journey.
While he began by airbrushing clothing, Donahue rapidly transitioned to painting and airbrushing found objects, more entrenching his philosophy of layering and customization. “Collecting things, finding items, operating from factors that are in the vernacular, I think I got that all-natural,” Donahue claims. He describes observing his grandfather improvise fixes for doorway latches and additional safety bars for the home windows about the home. “They have been not becoming preset to OSHA specifications, they were make-change. When you never have a whole lot you make do with what you have.”
It was not right up until graduate school at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, that Donahue commenced charting new approaches to hook up with other folks through artwork, this time through object generating. Donahue turned toward assemblage and sculpture perform and started incorporating vacuum forming into his system. 1 piece, titled Hubwoofers, from a 2013 set up was produced of vacuum-formed hubcaps with polystyrene and spray paint. These hanging black packing containers, put a person on top of the other, are reminiscent of stacked subwoofers at a home party or club.
Even though attending the University of Tennessee, from which he gained his MFA in 2013, Donahue’s course of action was pushed forward and redefined by a studio go to from Willie Cole, the artist also known as “The Transformer.” Cole transforms women’s superior heel shoes into African masks and sculptures, and Donahue internalized Cole’s suggestions “to hear to the spirit of objects, enable them inform you what they want to do. They now have a history.”