David Band (1959 - 2011)
21st April, 2011
David Band, artist and designer passed away peacefully on 20th April 2011, leaving behind his partner designer Fiona Mahon and young son Alfie; he was only 51.
A wonderful talent, he made beautiful work gracing many of the hospitality and interior architecture environs.
"I have known Band's art since his first exhibition in Australia in 1987 and I have always been moved by it. Band has a profound talent to create beauty, to make beautiful art. Band has a serious relationship with colour, shape, line and texture and the expression of these elements is as essential to him as love or water. His ability to utilise various techniques and to manipulate materials lends his work uniqueness and exceptional quality. Band's techniques are sound and they are apt for their purpose. They are embedded in his art." - Ross A. Waterman
I had seen David Band's artworks in magazines but when I saw the real thing a few months ago at a house shoot I wanted to learn more. Turns out he's not only a successful artist, but also works commercially with his business Mahon&Band creating concepts and designs for the likes of Dinosaur Designs (their Sun brochure and range was a recent standout), and North Bondi Italian Food.
Which five words best describe you?
I'll take the low road.
How did you get your start as an artist and what path have you taken since?
Like everyone, I started with a packet of crayons and a drawing pad. By the end of school it was really all I was interested in doing, so I went to art school to find out where it could take me. I majored in textile design, which seemed a more interesting department than the more fine art options.
But by the time I had completed my masters at the RCA I had become more interested in fine art. Four of us from the same year set up a company called The Cloth. We designed prints for the fashion scene of the eighties, record sleeves for bands of the period, and generally had a lot of fun and drank too much. We all exhibited our paintings regularly in London and Europe.
I left for a few months in Australia, and never got back! I stayed to pursue my growing interest in painting. Due to an increasing interest in using my images in a commercial way, we set up the design company Mahon and Band to control the final results. I continue to enjoy working in both areas. The selfish isolation of the studio can be nicely set off interacting with clients on a design brief.
What advice would you give to aspiring artists?
Remain true to your art, learn to treat it as a career, never become complacent, listen to advice but follow your instinct, and continually challenge your direction.
What's your proudest career achievement?
The next exhibition.
What has been your best decision?
To leave computers to a younger generation.
Who inspires you?
Anyone making a go of it.
What are you passionate about?
Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet?
What dream do you still want to fulfil?
Painting the next one in a loft in NY in the fifties - just a dream.
What are you reading?
'Falling and laughing: the restoration of Edwyn Collins' by Grace Maxwell.
David Band was born in Glasgow in 1959 and studied at the Glasgow School of Art and the Royal College of Art, London. In 1983 he established The Cloth Studios, in London. Having exhibited extensively, he moved to Melbourne in 1986. He lectured at RMIT, Melbourne from 1989 to 1994, founding MRB in 1995 and joined Gasworks Studios in Melbourne in 1996 and in the same year formed Mahon and Band, an art based graphic design group with his partner Fiona Mahon.
In earlier years, his paintings were inspired by music and more recently by jazz legends such as John Coltrane and Miles Davis. Since his move to Australia in 1986, David Band has built on his reputation as a painter and innovative abstractionist, and continues to exhibit overseas and throughout Australia.