David Huffman

Artadia Awardee

David Huffman makes paintings that stage allegories of experiences he believes are common to many people of minority ethnic background in America.  Huffman–not wanting to voice political protest overtly and inspired by comics, toys, and other popular art over traditional art symbolism–invented a crew of astronauts he calls “Traumabots” that in their early incarnations wore the rigid grins of minstrels. On their missions they searched for the inward and outward making of identity taken from them by their experience of racist society on Earth. Throughout his work, Huffman has toyed with his figures’ skin tones, which often seem to owe as much to the need to unify a painting formally as to inject a topical reference. He admits that his work owes more to formalists, such as Terry Winters and Cy Twombly, than to any artist devoted to social content.