David Buckingham: "Don't Hate Me Because I'm Beautiful"

A power saw. The kind that cuts through old car doors and broken-down hotel signs. That's what David Buckingham uses to extract the metal for his sculptures — recycled bits of scrap whose rusting and paint-chipped surfaces have seen better days. He transforms his mishmash of metal into provocations — weapons, color patterns, and (his most ubiquitous offering) words taken from pop or consumer culture. At Cain Schulte, the 5-foot-tall sculpture Adult Books stacks such titles as Highway Hustler, Tailpipe Trucker, and Big Truckin' Stud atop one another – with each title in big, uppercase letters. The next work over, Psycho Killer, is also all uppercase, and has a row of what look like bulletholes in the letters "K" and "L." Then there's Dan White #3, a 4-foot gun that features a decal for a truck company that was left on the original metal. There's humor in Buckingham's works; there's also beauty and serious commentary. That's why his output has found a home in galleries and other outlets (including The New York Times, which used his work to accompany a 2007 William Safire column). Buckingham's word sculptures don't need flashing lights to grab your attention. Just the opposite: It's their fading surfaces that help draw you in and keep you there.

 
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