There is simply just no way to overstate the impression airbrushing had on Donahue’s occupation and artistic strategy: “All of my performs originate from the communal aspect of airbrushing,” he says. It stays a regular part of his work. His 2018 solo show titled R.I.P. at Elephant Gallery in Nashville, Tennessee, was an airbrushed memorial to victims of gun violence from the preceding two yrs in Middle Tennessee and bundled airbrushed T-shirts and canvases. A single of the items, titled Rest In Paradise 2, depicts a lush pink and yellow sunset behind blue and pink drinking water and palm trees leaning on the shore. The water—red closest to the horizon turns blue closest the shore—comes to a issue as if flowing into a smaller human body of drinking water among the palm trees, signaling, probably, the start off of a journey.
Although he started by airbrushing apparel, Donahue immediately transitioned to painting and airbrushing found objects, further more entrenching his philosophy of layering and customization. “Collecting things, finding items, operating from items that are in the vernacular, I consider I received that organic,” Donahue suggests. He describes viewing his grandfather improvise fixes for doorway latches and further stability bars for the home windows close to the household. “They have been not getting preset to OSHA benchmarks, they were make-shift. When you never have a ton you make do with what you have.”
It wasn’t until finally graduate college at the College of Tennessee, Knoxville, that Donahue began charting new means to join with other people by way of art, this time by item producing. Donahue turned towards assemblage and sculpture get the job done and started incorporating vacuum forming into his approach. Just one piece, titled Hubwoofers, from a 2013 set up was manufactured of vacuum-fashioned hubcaps with polystyrene and spray paint. These placing black bins, positioned one on best of the other, are reminiscent of stacked subwoofers at a property social gathering or club.
When attending the College of Tennessee, from which he obtained his MFA in 2013, Donahue’s system was pushed forward and redefined by a studio stop by from Willie Cole, the artist also identified as “The Transformer.” Cole transforms women’s substantial heel shoes into African masks and sculptures, and Donahue internalized Cole’s suggestions “to pay attention to the spirit of objects, enable them inform you what they want to do. They presently have a history.”