David Michael Cleary

David Cleary (b.1992, Hull UK) is an artist living and working in Hull. He graduated from Leeds College of Art in 2014 with a BA (Hons) in Fine Art.

Adopting traditional approaches of figuration and portraiture to produce colourful painterly works, his practice is heavily influenced by figurative artworks from western art history and 20th Century gay artists such as Tom of Finland, Paul Cadmus, Robert Mapplethorpe and David Hockney.

His recent strand of paintings and drawings derive imagery from the geosocial online dating app Grindr, either by mining images of male bodies displayed publicly on the app or by taking photographic images and sketching users in the flesh. The works are the product of the artists examination of the intimate but extremely public practices of gay men on an exclusive social framework, which raises questions surrounding voyeurism, body politics and masculinity. 

Previous exhibitions include group exhibitions at the Ferens Open 2019, Future Ferens - SKIN DEEP 2017, Ferens Art Gallery, Hull Seven Days @ LS6, Leeds 2016, Into the Mind of IAM COLLECTIVE 2016, Headrow House, Leeds, Ones We Watched 2016, Sunnybank Mills, Farsley, Free Range, Truman Brewery 2014, London, Knock Knock, Leeds College of Art 2014, Blenhiem Walk, Leeds, Ones to Watch, Sunnybank Mills 2014, Farsley, Happy Birthday Mondrien 2013, Project Space Mexico, Leeds.

In 2015 he was awarded the Graduate Studio Residency at Barkston House with East Street Arts and his work was featured in the BFI Flare Zine produced by Studio Moross as part of BFI Flare: London LGBTQ+ Film Festival.