The Garment District Alliance (GDA) announced the latest in its ongoing series of public art exhibits, showcasing 10 oil on canvas paintings titled UNLOCKED, created by artist David Badders. The paintings are a representation of New York City’s vitality during the pandemic, bringing color and action into a space of uncertainty and chaos.
Located inside the Kaufman Arcade building on 139 W 35th Street, the free exhibit is accessible to the public through May 29. UNLOCKED is part of the Garment District Space for Public Art program, which showcases artists in unusual locations throughout the year and over 16 years has produced more than 200 installations, exhibits and performances.
“UNLOCKED is an inspiring exhibition that captures the true strength, resiliency and spirit of New York City following this devastating year,” said Barbara A. Blair, president of the Garment District Alliance. “We are proud to display David’s colorful works as part of the Garment District Space for Public Art program, and we encourage all to visit this month.”
Over the past year, Badders created UNLOCKED to highlight the underlying, undying energy of New York City. Influenced by the gritty yet vibrant walls seen around the five boroughs, Badders used colors and textures to create compositions that demonstrate how although the pandemic has deeply impacted New York City, the area still pulses with a different kind of dynamic. The paintings are titled We Three, Fat, Tattoo, Henry Darger, Jokes, Hug, Kiss, Jou, Com and Dictator.
Since graduating from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 1993, Badders has pursued a successful, 26-year career as an illustrator, designer, and art director for various newspapers and magazines, while maintaining a studio for his painting practice. Badders has occasionally showcased his work in group exhibitions and UNLOCKED is his first solo show. He moved to New York in 2012 and continues to draw inspiration from the colors and textures of the city around him.
The Garment District is home to diverse business sectors from technology to hospitality and includes thousands of people working in the creative economy, including fine and performing artists, designers, architects, photographers and more than a hundred theaters, galleries, performance spaces and studios.