Chance Encounters: Temporary Street Art
“David Zinn's artistry is a pure form of self-expression freedom and creativity. Chance Encounters: Temporary Street Art appeals to the child in all of us.”
Street artist David Zinn describes a childhood penchant for drawing and doodling that evolved into a whimsical, storybook character form of street art. Zinn’s new book, Chance Encounters: Temporary Street Art, is a fulsome and engaging collection of the artist’s chalk and charcoal street imagery.
In early childhood the Zinn parents cajoled their energetic children into quiet time by providing blank sheets of paper and pencils for drawing. Zinn’s frustration over an inability to draw at the same level as his brother inspired doodles which evolved into a competition focused on the creation of a recognizable image from random scribble. Creating out of chaos, applying order to randomness remains Zinn’s artistic approach today. And city streets with their array of markings are his chosen canvas.
“The composition and imperfections of a slab of concrete result in a multitude of specks, streaks, and cracks that are a perfect playground for the imagination.”
Zinn’s subjects reflect a child’s view featuring characters such as Nadine the mouse, Philomena the pig, Sluggo the monster, squirrels, owls, lizards, and other animals. These adorable creatures are imbued with human qualities as he depicts them interacting and performing familiar activities like reading, giving a graduation speech, eating, and laughing. In the book, he adds a tag or title that imparts meaning to each image.
“Sometimes the inspirational scribble was literal and more often it was figurative, but there was always some kind of mess for my inner child to play with.”
Zinn works in chalk, charcoal, and found objects. These are easily portable so he can plunk down and draw when and where he is inspired. The way a brick wall meets a concrete sidewalk, blades of grass protruding from a crack in the cement, a hole or a pipe fitting—these become creative opportunities to explore and embellish, and the foundations of his three-dimensional imagery. Because Zinn’s art pops up unexpectedly in random places, Zinn’s relationship with his audience hinges on the element of surprise.
“My ideal outcome is that someone might stumble across my creations and be pleasantly baffled about what they’re seeing and might even believe for a moment that it’s a message put there specifically for them to find.”
The artist embraces the ephemeral nature of his work. The smudging and wearing away of the images are unavoidable. He regards the wearing away as a symbol of our transitory experience in the world. Zinn is unfazed by the resulting limit to the number of people who view his work.
David Zinn's artistry is a pure form of self-expression freedom and creativity. Chance Encounters: Temporary Street Art appeals to the child in all of us. While happening upon the work in situ is the intention of street art and the best way to experience it, this collection in book format enables more people to experience these enchanting images.