Independent, March 2014
The British artist will soon be exhibiting the first part of his Apex project in London and Los Angeles, focusing on the Animal Kingdom's top predators.
But why centre on such vicious creatures? "Obviously great whites have a nasty reputation," White says. "But in actual fact they’re fragile and beautiful. I want people to look at how rare they are - that’s the crux of it all."
Fascinated by endangered species, his previous Natural Selection and Aquatic series drew on tigers, orang-utans, sea turtles and more. It is the beauty, movement and dynamism of these animals that White strives to recreate in his artworks.
Inspired by Van Gogh, Rembrandt, Picasso and contemporary Japanese artist Takashi Murakamii, White enjoys exploring anything that has affected him as a child or moved him to comment in some sense.
"I want people to re-engage and look at the incredible beauty of these things," he says. "It doesn't matter what it is, if you just take a step back and have a real look at something, you often leave completely blown away."
One unusual topic explored in White's earlier art is war iconography. The contrast between the aesthetic appeal of guns and the macabre job they are designed to do intrigued him. "These things that are designed to maim and kill are actually incredibly beautiful," he says, emphasising that he has "never condoned any violence whatsoever".
Feeling free to evolve with his subject matter is something White considers hugely important, having "naturally drifted away" from the pop art comparisons of the early 2000s.
"I make what I want to make," he says.
White is exhibiting as part of Sprung at Chelsea's Loughran Gallery until 5 April."
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