David Kapp's paintings continue to reflect a strong interest in the urban landscape. His subject is no longer limited to automobile traffic and birds-eye views of streets and buildings. He has added paintings of crowds and the human figure in motion.
Using his body as a tool, measure, and filter, Kapp paints the forms of movement found in the urban landscape. The cityscape here as subject matter is a pretext. Through response to and representation of his immediate environment, Kapp treats his body as a filter, allowing the patterns, speeds, and spatial relationships of New York City to seep through his body and onto the painted surface. Rather than investigating the psychology or personal narrative of the city life, Kapp's use of cityscape exemplifies a key property of all scenes, environments, and societies: the accidental, incongruent, and yet harmonious relationships of movement. Kapp's subject matter acts as a metaphor for painting itself. One brush stroke that marks a car literally renders the car's form as a moving force. It also draws attention to the artist's speed and motion in the act of painting. Kapp's work is grounded in his process, each painting a finished image and record of its own making.
Unlike film or video however, Kapp renders movement in a fixed form. During a time when speed and motion are at the forefront of technological development, the contradiction in Kapp's work is poignant. Kapp renders industrial speed through the physical body, fixing motion through the motion of painting.
Movement explored in Kapp's work becomes something else entirely when standing in front of his paintings: the relationship between the viewer and the work. The collision of the viewer’s movement and that of the painting creates a unique temporality. Simultaneity of time transpires with two temporalities colliding: the moving viewer and the moving cityscape. This intersection speaks distinctly to the urban experience, the constant rhythm, pattern, and speed that meet to form new relationships.
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