The culmination of five years studying, drawing and painting hair, "Inflammable Liquids - Keep Locked" consists of eight large-scale portraits whose subjects were caught looking over their shoulder, as if reacting to someone calling out to them. This way, the artist attempts to capture his subjects at a moment of complete openness and reveal something of their inner selves.
Hair is a central part of this particular series and David Le Fleming chose his subjects not only for their oblique personal traits, but also because they’ve got a good way with hair and beard. Each follicle and cluster of motifs were developed then herded through landscapes of hair that embody the individual’s quirks while suggesting abstract notions of a life journey.
David Le Fleming’s approach is all about punctuation and rhythmic space. Adding yet another dimension to his work are the various materials he paints on such as cardboard boxes, old metal signs and even vintage car bonnets.
Originally from New Zealand, but now working from his studio in Hackney, East London, David Le Fleming's key interest lies primarily in line work, developing his own language and often spending months on any given portrait.