Saatchi Interview - Inside The Studio: David Antonides / by david antonides

Inside The Studio: David Antonides (Canada)


Saatchi Art   Inside The Studio: David Antonides (Canada)


December 12, 2014


Inside the Studio




01_Antonides - Portrait in Studio

What are the major themes you pursue in your work?

My main interest is in urban scenes, such as groups of people meandering in the streets, surrounded by the monumental architecture of cities like New York, London, or San Francisco. Taxi cabs are crowding the view up to the horizon. There are frenetic and still moments of pedestrians and parks. When I explore these themes of nature and urban experience, I look for opportunities to apply an expressionist eye to our common and unique views of the city.

I work very physically on a large format paper surface using dense and transparent water-based pigments. This helps me to realize the varied impressions of the light and dynamics of the city that we live, feel, and see.

04_Antonides - developing ideas from sketches and small studies 2

A view of David’s studio.

What was the best advice given to you as an artist?

The best advice came from my great teachers at the Art Students League in New York. Among these gems was a statement from Sherry Camhy. I was working on a large composition on paper which could not be corrected in the event of a mistake. I hesitated to make bold and spontaneous marks and she advised, “It is better to be dead wrong than tentative.” This helped me later to often jump in and fail or succeed or perhaps just learn something new about the materials I work with.

02_Antonides painting large format in the studio Vancouver

The artist at work. 

Prefer to work with music or in silence?

I prefer to change my environment often. I find it stimulating to work with sounds from the environment whether it is music or street noise or chatter. Recently, I am listening to podcasts of interviews surrounding culture such as “Writers and Company” by Eleanor Wachtel, “Fresh Air” on NPR, or “Ideas” on CBC. In the past I have had classic movies playing in the background and have listened to diverse music playlists given to me by other artists.

05_Antonides - Tools of the Studio

David’s supplies. 

If you could only have one piece of art in your life, what would it be?

I am very glad I don’t have to make this choice. To select to be in one state of mind or have one idea would be an unimaginable prison. Variety and change are important things for me in life and in art and I unfortunately do not know of a single piece that could fulfill all of these needs. I suppose that is why most collectors form collections instead of acquiring a single piece that defines them or their aesthetic.

07_Antonides - in the gallery

David’s work on exhibition. 

Who are your favorite writers?

In the past I have enjoyed Rabindranath Tagore, Haruki Murakami, Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Rumi and classic western literature such as Camus – now I find I am largely interested in autobiographies of all sorts- in print and other media. Today, we have so much to draw from and to be distracted by.

07_Antonides - Tower 49 installation NYC

A few of the artist’s works on display in public.



  1. Christian Bahr
  2. December 19, 2014 at 9:40 pm
  3. Thanks David, excellent artworks, inspiring interview and I’m impressed by the dimension of your creative view on the world. Stay tuned.Reply
  4. Gianluca Citi
  5. January 12, 2015 at 9:27 am
  6. I really like this way of interpreting the urban landscapes, so energetic and frenetic !!!!!!Reply
  7. Barbara Scott
  8. January 12, 2015 at 10:35 am
  9. TI really like the oversize paintings. Great studio and display shots. ‘It is better to be dead wrong than tentative’, is a very useful quote from Sherra Camhy. Thankyou for sharing!Reply
  10. Kate Williamson
  11. January 12, 2015 at 1:42 pm
  12. Well said, and I LOVE the large scale.Reply
  13. PolyArtGallery
  14. January 13, 2015 at 2:50 pm
  15. Great !Reply
  16. kalule
  17. January 15, 2015 at 4:04 am
  18. it was a pleasure for that great artists to share with us.. its was wonderful thing for me .Reply
  19. Trent
  20. January 17, 2015 at 10:52 pm
  21. I also love your large scale painting and would love to have two of your large oversize paintings on my wall side my side. Your work if absolutely beautiful.Reply
  22. Jörg Hummel
  23. January 18, 2015 at 7:31 am
  24. Impressive!Reply
  26. January 19, 2015 at 1:33 pm
  27. You are a great artist. Your big scale art works are a challenge. I am impressed with the use of colors, and the cosmopolitan cultural outlook.Reply
  28. dan vaughan
  29. January 22, 2015 at 11:24 pm
  30. This is great stuff. Im gkad i got the opportunity to view as your work was previously unfamiliar.
  31. How do you get such large pieces through doors?