Paul White is a Melbourne based artist who is a little obsessed with Southern California. The artist got his MFA at CalArts and spent much time exploring our landscape. The metropolitan and desert landscapes had a big impact on him in addition to our means of transportation and the culture surrounding it. Paul is a big fan of cars and has been incorporating them into his drawings since he was a child. The collision of these influences have resulted in lots of bare works surrounding vehicles that inhabit the desert: they are his Wasteland Wanderlust.
The body of work are references to strange decaying vehicles out in the America’s Southwestern deserts. They touch on the stripped airplane boneyards in Mojave to graffiti covered rail cars on the Grand Pacific Railroad to odd airplane parking lots in Tucson, Arizona, all these representations of technology, human ability, waste, and nature. These locations serve as ghostly backdrops for White, who felt like a character in a Mad Max post-apocalyptic film while researching for his show. These objects became detailed and minimalistic drawings that juxtapose dead technology with somewhat dead earth. Ironically, the desert in the body of work is more full of life than the state of the art technologies that are his subject.
Below, White explains his process and the inspiration in a nice seven minute video. His work is very evocative of a specific mood and is incredibly precise. He makes very beautiful work! The collection of drawings in Wasteland Wanderlust are on display at Melbourne’s Metro Gallery through September 8. If you are in Australia and nearby, check it out. If you’re in Southern California, enjoy the video below and peruse more of Pauls work here.