• 'The only way to deal with the garbage is to wear the garbage' Johnny Rotten. David Henry Nobody Jr is...

    David Nobody in 2020

    "The only way to deal with the garbage is to wear the garbage" Johnny Rotten.

    David Henry Nobody Jr is the name I give to my online performative alter-ego. I am known for transforming myself into bizarre characters using masks and wearable sculptures comprised of food and consumerist detritus. I call this practice “Resemblagè,” a term I coined to describe my unique conceptualizations which humorously and disturbingly explore the dark side of American pop-culture. Resemblagè, derived from resemble and collage, is the act of physically collaging directly upon a human body or face, usually my own.

  • I collect and scavenge strange props that catch my eye in my day to day life. For example, I found an abandoned, filthy Barbie Winnebago on a street in Brooklyn some years ago; this would eventually become an absurd car wreck on my body in the piece Self Portrait As Barbie’s Bane. The dolls in this piece are also part of a larger, surreal hoarding-likecollection of strange props that line the walls of my studio. The collision of the Winnebago with Nobody is the clash of the inner world of self and outer worlds of consumerist experience, whose boundaries are made both viscous and even Dionysian through my work. My characters are pleasure seeking, unwitting self-saboteurs assimilating into a cookie cutter gone wrong.


    The only way to become yourself is to let go of yourself. It is the rise of social media that has radically redefined the portrayal of the self and this technology has greatly expanded my own artistic language.  Now, anyone can create an online persona. It is the internet-based democratization of this idea that has allowed the public to be able to co-opt the donning of a ‘digital mask’. We are all playing along as fabricated or embellished or edited character versions of ourselves in the simulation of the Matrix. My art surfs these waves. Through this I am able to help demonstrate how the simulation we find ourselves in can be not just oppressive, but also a means for self actualization.


    As I create a piece, I slowly morph my appearance and record the splintered and broken images that arise. I look at the recordings to hone the piece.I react to and mirror the props with body paint and motorized toys on my self. As I mutate into something unrecognizable, my emotions, imagination, and intelligence become heightened. As I morph, I feel more and more empathic of the exposed problems that I am wearing. I brainwash myself with the props and with the self bombardment-propaganda of the recordings themselves. The repeated gaze into the reflection of my morphed self in the recordings changes how I see both myself and how I see my own creativity. The urgency of the act finally propels its own creation, its own reality. The final images of the performance usually resonate the strongest and are the most cathartic to experience as the artist and model. A piece like Pretzel Logic shows the convoluted cause and effect that I can arrive at, and it looks pretty tasty too. Pretzel Man is becoming embedded in a food display that is transforming into the body of another person.


    We live in a world where it is hard to know what is real and what is not. My experiences watching the Trump presidency and the public’s reaction to the Virus show evermore that the spin or recording of something can often be more important than the real thing. Fake can be just as good. Fascism sells. Facts and science can be denied. Resemblage can be hideous in its truthful damnation of the propaganda of its time. I'm just playfully showing what I feel and see, much like artists like Otto Dix did in other dark political times. Like a clown, I am complicit in the self deception of the now.

  • My work is Fantastic Nobody. In this use of the term Nobody, it does not mean to have low self esteem, but rather to not have a body - literally no body. I think that when you are on your phone or interacting online, you lose the sense of having a physical body and become just a disembodied consciousness. I often wonder if we will some day leave our physical bodies behind - the technology certainly suggests it. The question for the next generation remains, how will we adapt to stay connected?


    Like the internet, my work is a well-baited trap. In the transformation into a symbolic Nobody, I intentionally wear the social problems and emotional debris of society so that the public can project themselves into the work. I become everybody. I think that the viewer does not see ‘me’ in the work, but rather sees themselves inside the Resemblagè. By wearing the symbols as opposed to painting them and putting them on a wall, the image becomes more politicized and the interactions become more volatile. The audience will feel compelled to criticize in comments on Instagram. The comments are an extension of the Resemblagè and so are all my interactions as David Nobody. I have received a lot of hate mail!


    My aim is to blur the boundaries of observer and observed, of social critique and personal complicity in order to peel away the layers of reality and spur debate. Much like FLUXUS, I believe that art and life are interchangeable. We are the canvas in a giant painting that is reality and the fabric of life. By changing the framework of how we see ourselves, we can become greater than what we are. In this way, the door to art opens to its fullest potential.

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  • About David Henry Brown Jr

    David Henry Brown Jr has been showing his work since the early 1990’s, both in the New York art world and as a renegade underground figure. His  work has spanned many different artistic periods: most often involving the creation of characters that perform and make objects. His work first became notorious when he impersonated New York socialite Alex Vonfurstenberg, crashing VIP parties for a whole year in 2000. Sixty photos document “Alex” meeting the Clintons, Puff Daddy and other luminaries. The project was shown as his first solo show at Roebling Hall gallery in New York.


    The key theme that revolves around David Henry Brown Jr’s work is that of the ‘loser’. The individual who, despite their undoubted obscurity, acts as if they are famous. The idea of this socially-insecure figure drives David’s work, propelling him deeper into our image obsessed culture. David predicted the Trump presidency in his 1999 Stalking Donald Trump performances, where he followed Trump for a year and even made ‘Trump For President 2000’ posters and campaigned on his behalf, as a prescient social experiment. With this satirical and transgressive approach, David has gone on to break new and experimental ground in his Red Carpet Rollers Project, Shopping Mall Portrait Series, Wax Museum Host project, post 9/11 Fashion series, Drawing series, Polaroid series, Pizza Infinity series, Banksy Impersonation series, as well as an assortment of ongoing studio works/objects.


    Follow David’s latest work and most sensational body of self-portraits on Instagram @davidhenrynobodyjr. Here he has immersed himself in social media, coining the term ‘Resemblage’ to describe his creations. This large body of work has garnered enormous press in the last few years and has been featured on the BBC, VICE, The Huffington Post, HiFructose and was the subject of an Arte Tracks TV Documentary short. The ongoing body of work was featured in a large-scale solo live performance/installation at MOCA Tucson in September 2018; David’s latest solo performance took place last July at Andrew Edlin Gallery in New York.



  • The Campaign Against Hunger, A community's approach to caring

    The Campaign Against Hunger

    A community's approach to caring

    10% of proceeds from all Platform exhibitions are donated to a charity of the artist's choosing. David Henry Nobody Jr has chosen to support The Campaign Against Hunger: an organisation that helps thousands of vulnerable New Yorkers by giving them the food and resources they need to survive. Since 1998 TCAH has been using a community approach to caring and feeding hungry people in Bedford Stuyvesant and neighboring communities.  They offer a continuum of wrap-around services and programs that meet the unique needs of each individual with the goal of setting them free from reliance on New York’s social service safety net.