Ahead of our exclusive launch of the David Weidman collection, we met up with Lenna Weidman, the director of Weidman Arts and daughter of the renowned mid-century artist.
Explore the collection
Hi Lenna, lovely to meet you. We are very excited to be launching the David Weidman collection exclusively here in our Barnsbury Hall showroom. Born and raised in Los Angeles your father’s career began in advertising illustration and animation, could you tell us a bit more?
It’s great to meet you too. I’m so thrilled that your gorgeous store is hosting the launch and very excited to share the work and Cubic’s beautiful homewares. Well, I was pretty small but I do remember the animation studio work. It was seasonal work and it was long hours. There were “Cartoon Colour” paints, animation cells and other tools all over the house because he also brought work home. I remember him getting home late and pulling us kids out of bed because he hadn’t seen us in a while. This drove my poor Mum crazy of course. He started doing the serigraphs at home in 1963 and I think this overlapped with the animation work for a while.
We love the abstract and animated aspect of the works. Where did his inspiration come from?
I think the feeling of movement and animation comes from who he was, his spirit and his liveliness. Printmaking also lends itself well to these feelings of movement. Creating two-dimensional art was a very dynamic process for him, there was always a give and take conversation going on between him and what he was working on.
He was inspired by so many things in life. Sometimes it was drawings he had done of us kids or our pets, often one of mum’s pieces would be a starting point for a print. He admired Matisse and Picasso among many other modern masters. He collected African art and loved art from all over the world. He was a lifelong artist just like my Mum. They both started very young and never stopped creating for their whole lives.
We understand that some of the collection has been spotted on the sets of popular films and TV shows?
Yes. I think we had about eleven pieces on the Mad Men sets. Criminal Minds and That 70’s Show also had some. There were some in the film Gone Girl and there have been a number of others too!
Your father designed and manually printed the original Serigraphs?
I can’t emphasize enough how both my parents did everything by hand. Dad built our home around us and whenever possible made everything he needed himself. This included his work tables, drying racks, shelves… all of it. I learned growing up that we didn’t buy anything if we could make it. This was partly out of necessity since money was scarce but it was also because both my parents were very creative people and got a kick out of making stuff.
How important was the handcrafted process to him and its ongoing preservation through the family archive?
When you make prints by hand there are so many unexpected things that happen as you go and this makes each print at least slightly different from the others. As hard as you may try to make the prints in an edition look unified, no two are exactly the same. There are so many variables when you work by hand.
The ink passes through the screen for each pull in different ways and will look different on the paper. An accidental drip becomes part of the design that you decide to keep and when you re-mix a colour, it will not be the same twice, so you make a change mid edition if you are flexible; there are no rules. This ends up being a good thing because there are excitement and dynamism created as the works evolve. It’s not a static process unless you insist on making it so.
And lastly, what do you think your fathers lasting legacy is and will continue to be?
I know he hoped that his art made people feel good, inspired and joyful. It meant everything to him when someone appreciated his work. He made art for everyone and the more people he could touch, the happier he was.
The David Weidman collection will be sold exclusively in our Barnsbury Hall showroom for 2 weeks. Along with rare and highly collectible prints from the David Weidman archive, we will also have a range of homewares and soft furnishings available.
We will be launching the collection with a late night shopping event on
Thursday 26th October 2017, 6-9pm.