Five questions to David Fredrik Moussallem

Five questions to David Fredrik Moussallem

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David Fredrik Moussallem is a mixed media collage painter who was born in Lahti, Finland and lives and works in Toronto, Canada. His background is in Advertising and Design and his work focuses on street collage and messaging with mixed media.How did you get into art?

While attending college in 2005, I studied Advertising and Design. Shortly after I graduated, I was looking for a way to translate what I learned about colour, typography and messaging and use those skills in a more analog way. I always loved street posters, historical posters - any type of messaging on paper. I knew I wanted to incorporate a lot of collage in my works. As a way to bring in more depth and further my expression, I started to incorporate grids into my work. Every part of graphic design is based on a grid and I wanted to bring that into my fine art practice. 

How would you describe your style? What makes your art special?

I describe my style as organic messaging. The greatest parts are the subtle details that you miss upon first or second glance. I’m often told that the paintings look different in person because there’s so much to see. The scale and texture is difficult to capture digitally. My environment plays a huge part in my paintings - I’m incorporating little bits of Toronto’s urban landscape into the works.How do you go about developing your work?

My works are very layered with posters I gather, dictionary pages, acrylic paint and many different mediums. They eventually turn into something sculptural. When you start to mix words and messages together they become something new. Sometimes it’s very pleasing to the eye, other times it’s uncomfortable - but there’s always a message or expression that hopefully shines through. As complicated as they look, they are approached with a lot of precision- it’s controlled chaos. I’ve always had a fascination with grids and I use them to dissect the information. It adds a layer of unpredictability and confusion, but also creates a lot of harmony in the compositions. The blending of elements makes everything work together and lets the viewer feel something. Who or what influences you? 

My influences are wide ranging. I take inspiration from music, travels, my childhood, artists who are masters of their craft. I enjoy the work of David Carson - pushing the limits of typography in graphic design and really shaping what it is to understand messaging. Mark Bradford’s work, particularly from the early 2000’s was a huge influence and still is. I think the early 1900’s work of Kurt Scwitters is still as relevant as ever.  

What are you planning to do next?

In terms of the future, I always believe that my best work is one I haven’t done yet. I’ll soon be incorporating new materials in my paintings to try and further the textural quality and layering process. I hope to have more shows soon in New York with my gallery and I’ll be presenting new work in Toronto in the Spring. Instagram