In his welded metal wallworks David Buckingham absorbs, muses upon, mirrors, and upends the public language of his country, chewing on the word-image of Pop art and the imaged words of the Internet and spitting them out as profane illuminations, banners of defiance and provocation, calls to arms and calls to a peaceable future. These are wake-up calls – not because they are “political statements,” which they aren’t, but because they reverberate with clamor and clarion. They look noisy, they read noisy, and all they need is for everyone who sees them to read them out loud – at the top of their lungs.

Buckingham is an nth-generation Pop artist, to be sure. But he replaces Pop irony with sarcasm and realism, refashioning mundane street info and bar talk’s coarse stream of consciousness into roughly elegant typographies forged from sensuously damaged scrap metal. Pop art per se presented itself as up to date and featureless, in emulation of the ads and commercials it reflected. Buckingham’s “neo-Pop” brings back the original feel with a formidable twist: this time, stay mad. His approach is not “cool,” like Pop’s own, but rough, textured, imbued with character – and with passion. Buckingham isn’t asking us to stay, or even get, mad about any particular thing (although his references to the contemporary world can be pretty pointed), but to sensitize ourselves to the outside world’s enduring sensuality – a sensuality that includes epithets and descriptions as well as shapes and materials, and one that relies on imperfections and decay.

David Buckingham does not make signs. Maybe you could say that he welds poetry, but that credits him for his phrases more than he wants to be. Rather, Buckingham records the language of his time and place in a durable but flexible substance – a substance arguably as durable and flexible as language itself. What we say – and how we say it – to one another may seem like so much smoke signaling; but Buckingham thinks that our language, even at its roughest, has a monumental quality to it, and brings out that quality in a manner at once as modern as the words and as timeless as the impulse to speech itself.


Born: 1958.  Lives and works in Los Angeles, CA.


Loyola University, New Orleans, B.A. Communications, 1984

The Rivington School, New York City

Selected Solo Exhibitions

2021 Pleasure Before Business, Caldwell Snyder, San Francisco

2019 Nobody Likes a Smartass, Caldwell Snyder Gallery, St Helena, CA

2018 If I Only Had a Brain, Caldwell Snyder, San Francisco

2016 What A Long Strange Trip It's Been, Caldwell Snyder CA

2015 Strong Medicine, Jonathan Ferrara Gallery, New Orleans

Tune In Turn On Drop Out, Caldwell Snyder, San Francisco

Under the Influence, Scream, London


Better Dead Than Red, Jonathan Ferrara Gallery, New Orleans, USA

Hell Is Other People, Cain Schulte Gallery, San Francisco, CA

Pleased To Meet Me, Caldwell Snyder Gallery, St Helena, CA

Hung Like Elvis, Kit Schulte Contemporary, Berlin, Germany


I Speak as I Please, Jonathan Ferrara Gallery, New Orleans, LA

Don't Hate Me Because I'm Beautiful, Cain Schulte Gallery, San Francisco, CA


As The World Burns, Packer/Schopf Gallery, Chicago, IL

Me Love You Long Time, Peter Mendenhall Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

As Seen on TV, Cain Schulte Gallery, San Francisco, CA


Dark Side of the Sun, O.K. Harris, New York, NY

How to Talk Dirty and Influence People, Cain Schulte Gallery, San Francisco, CA


No More Greasy Kid Stuff, Packer/Schopf Gallery, Chicago, IL

Playing With Fire, Lois Lambert Gallery, Santa Monica, CA


Danger: High Voltage, Lois Lambert Gallery, Santa Monica, CA


Blood and Iron, Lois Lambert Gallery, Santa Monica, CA

California Screaming: New Work from Los Angeles, Packer Gallery, Chicago, IL

Selected Group Exhibitions


Art 14, Scream booth, London, UK


Telling Tales, Scream, London, UK

Summer Exhibition, Scream, London, UK
Scope Basel – Scream booth, Basel, Switzerland

London Art Fair 2013, Scream booth, London


The Gun Show, dA Center for the Arts, Ponoma, CA

LA to OC: Extreme, Orange County Center for the Arts, Santa Ana, CA


St Claude Collective @ Prospect1, New Orleans, LA

Inaugural Group Show, Peter Mendenhall Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

Brad Benedict’s Sideshow, Merry Karnowsky Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

Brad Benedict’s Sideshow II

Robert Berman Gallery, Santa Monica, CA

Intervention, Pharmaka Gallery, Los Angeles, CA


Greetings From the American Dream, Riverside Museum of Art, Riverside, CA

Archeofacts, Cain Shulte Gallery, San Francisco, CA


In Harm’s Way Curated by Dan Tague

Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, New York, NY

Katrina You Bitch, Barrister’s Gallery, New Orleans, LA

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No items found.