David Mach

b. 1956

David Mach was born in 1956 in Methil, Fife. He studied at Duncan Jordanstone College of Art in Dundee before attending the Royal College of Art, London in 1982. He was nominated for the Turner Prize in 1988 and was recently made a Royal Academician.

Mach’s work is characterised by his use of large-scale installations that unite diverse items together through humour and social comment. His use of mass produced objects, such as magazines, match sticks, teddy bears, newspapers and car tyres, combine to form unusual assemblages of representational and controversial images. Many of his installations are temporary and created for public spaces such as the first version of It Takes Two which was originally commissioned for a British Festival in the Ukraine, and was originally called Over to the Right a Bit in Kiev. The Sumos were modeled in a part Disney/part Social Realist manner as a response to the aggressively thrusting statues of Lenin and other Soviet heros Mach saw in Russia and the Ukraine. They were meant as an analogy for a society changing but unable to improve its own situation.

Mach explained: ‘Imagine carrying a piano down the stairs, you get to the point where you can't let go, you can't put it down, you can't move forward, the moment just before something has to give, a moment of intense concentration and effort quickly changing to rage and frustration. If you have ever carried a piano down stairs you will know exactly what I mean. The container, apart from my usual fascination with those things, was meant as a symbol of all the things the Ukrainians couldn't get and weren't likely to get very soon. A symbol of unavailable western goods.’

David Mach
It Takes Two by David Mach Kong by David Mach