There is only no way to overstate the influence airbrushing had on Donahue’s career and creative technique: “All of my performs originate from the communal facet of airbrushing,” he states. It continues to be a dependable part of his operate. 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 past two a long time in Center Tennessee and bundled airbrushed T-shirts and canvases. One of the parts, titled Relaxation In Paradise 2, depicts a lush red and yellow sunset behind blue and crimson drinking water and palm trees leaning on the shore. The water—red closest to the horizon turns blue nearest the shore—comes to a issue as if flowing into a smaller physique of water among the palm trees, signaling, possibly, the begin of a journey.
Even though he commenced by airbrushing clothing, Donahue speedily transitioned to painting and airbrushing uncovered objects, further entrenching his philosophy of layering and customization. “Collecting points, discovering issues, doing work from issues that are in the vernacular, I consider I obtained that pure,” Donahue says. He describes looking at his grandfather improvise fixes for door latches and more safety bars for the home windows all around the home. “They had been not remaining preset to OSHA expectations, they were make-shift. When you do not have a whole lot you make do with what you have.”
It wasn’t right up until graduate faculty at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, that Donahue began charting new approaches to hook up with many others as a result of artwork, this time by means of object producing. Donahue turned toward assemblage and sculpture perform and began incorporating vacuum forming into his system. A single piece, titled Hubwoofers, from a 2013 installation was made of vacuum-formed hubcaps with polystyrene and spray paint. These placing black packing containers, put just one on best of the other, are reminiscent of stacked subwoofers at a household celebration or club.
Though attending the College of Tennessee, from which he been given his MFA in 2013, Donahue’s approach was pushed ahead and redefined by a studio check out from Willie Cole, the artist also recognised as “The Transformer.” Cole transforms women’s significant heel footwear into African masks and sculptures, and Donahue internalized Cole’s suggestions “to hear to the spirit of objects, enable them tell you what they want to do. They presently have a background.”