David Begbie

About the Artist

David Begbie discovered the particular properties of steel and bronze mesh as an art student in 1977. His work has since then been exhibited globally and has been an enormous inspiration to many people, including architects, designers, photographers, world of theatre and dance and collectors as well as to other artists. His work has been imitated and copied worldwide and the quality speaks for itself.

The preoccupation with the human form as his subject stems from an early age but the fascination with reproducing figurative bodies in mesh has developed gradually over many years. David Begbie achieves fine sculpting detail of musculature and an aesthetic completeness of human form which has even been compared to Michelangelo and particular Rodin, even though his subject is often that of the partial or truncated figure.

Born in Edinburgh, Scotland, David Begbie’s earliest memories and experiences as an artist are at the age of 13. Already talented, Begbie completed seven years at Art School where he emerged with a unique sculptural technique and the beginnings of a new visual language using steelmesh in 1977.

Since his graduation in 1982 he has worked almost exclusively with the human form, primarily sculpting in steel and bronze mesh but also producing mono-prints, etchings, ink and charcoal drawings, mixed-media work and photographs. But it is for his distinctive mesh sculpture that Begbie is most renowned.

Steel and bronze mesh is transparent – 90% thin air – yet it has as a much greater physical presence than any conventional solid sculpture. Begbie’s skill, perception, understanding and imagination are succinctly and economically contained within the confines of the simple shell that constitutes his sculpture.

The introduction of strategic lighting as an integral part of a particular composition has the most remarkable result where the combination of two and three dimensions, with the use of projected shadows, produces an optical fusion of image and object. It is from this phenomenon that Begbie developed his flat steel or bronze panel sculptures which are available in fine art limited editions. Begbie envisaged these works as existing and occupying a space between the three dimensional sculpture and the shadow itself, and in the process has created another new art form. To produce one of the sculptures in flat steel panel, David must first have made a unique sculpture. Its photograph is then etched out of metal panel.

The portraits are even more of an amalgam of the two disciplines, with David using the mesh to hold the features together. This new art-form was developed in 2005 and has enabled David to explore the potential of a single artwork, using colours and different formats to produce variations in mood and effect.

The real thrill of Begbie’s work is the experience of seeing it „in the flesh”; the sculpted bodies are powerful, erotic, tactile, and intimate. For the viewer, this material adds intrigue yet is somehow familiar; when you first experience Begbie’s body sculptures you are curious to know how the perfection of form is achieved.

On looking further you become familiar with the properties of the medium – the wire mesh creates a liveliness and sense of movement that is further enhanced by the use of shadow projection with lighting.

Look again closely and you see that there is not even a skin, only a graphic delineation of one. In relation to the space it occupies, the catalytic effect a Begbie sculpture has, in any setting, given that it has no palpable substance or surface, is phenomenal.

Begbie says of his sculpture: “Each work is an entity which has a far greater physical presence than any solid object could possibly have because it has the power to suggest that it doesn’t exist.” You have to touch a Begbie to make sure it does.

 


ELEMENT
Limited Edition Brass Panel Buddha Sculpture, Flat Brass Panel on Metal Base
Edition: 59/60
Size: 250mm x 150mm
Base: 120mm x 50mm
POA


CHROMAN
Male Front Torso, Suspended Bronzemesh, Orange Colour Finish
Size: 860mm x 410mm x 210mm
Unique
POA


CHROMBE
Female Front Torso, Suspended Bronzemesh, Blue Colour Finish
Size: 870mm x 400mm x 210mm
Unique
POA


ASTILLNUWD II
Limited Edition Female Torso Steel Panel, Suspended or Free-Standing on Metal Base
Edition: 6/9
Size: 435mm x 355mm x 230mm
Base: 175mm x 73mm
POA

NUBII
NUBII
Double Composition Sculpture of Two Female Figures on Stilts, Black finish
Size: 500mm x 355mm x 125mm
Unique
POA

LUNA
LUNA  
Androgynous Angel Figure, Suspended
Painted Steel Mesh, Copper
Size: 970mm x 1060mm x 200mm
Unique
POA

GENU
GENU 
Male Black Figure Freestanding on metal base Steelmesh, Black Colour Finish
Size: 515mm x 185mm x 125mm
Unique
POA

ICUN
ICUN

Female Front Figure, Freestanding on Metal Base Steelmesh, Black Colour Finish
Size: 510mm x 170mm x 125mm
Unique
POA

NUDIS
NUDIS
Female Front Torso Sculpture, Suspended, Black finish
Unique
Size: 765mm x 360mm x 140mm
POA

Begbie_ICON-II_9020web
ICON II

Male Front Figure Painted Bronzemesh, Copper Colour Finish Freestanding on Metal Base
Unique
Size: 1570mm x 460mm x 360mm
POA

TENSUS-2013a_web
TENSUS

Double Figure Composition, Male Back\Female Front, Steelmesh, Freestanding on Metal Base Steelmesh, Black Colour Finish
Size: 510mm x 360mm x 125mm
Unique
POA

nubus tn
NUBUS

Unique black steelmesh sculpture of a female figure torso, suspended
Size: 650mm x 300mm x 140mm
POA

David-Begbie-sculpture-PNUUDUS-shadow-web
PNUUDUS
Double Female Front Figure Composition Painted Steelmesh, Black Colour Finish, Freestanding on Metal Base
Size: 1180mm x 740mm x 205mm
Unique
POA

BNUWDSTILL-easle-web
BNUWDSTILL II

Male back torso made from steel panel and suspended, black colour finish
Size: 435mm x 275mm
Limited Edition of 9 ed 7/9
POA

intemates
INTEMATES
Triple female torso composition, steel panel, suspended, black colour finish
Size: 550mm x 745mm
Limited edition of 9 ed 6/9
SOLD

astillnuwd iii
ASTILLNUWD III

Female torso made from steel panel and suspended or free-standing on metal base, black colour finish
Size: 435mm x250mm
Limited Edition of 9 ed 7/9
POA

nubai
NUBAI
Unique sculpture of a double female figure composition, left figure with vest detail, steelmesh and black colour finish, free-standing on metal base
Size: 500mm x 355mm x 125mm
POA

icon iii
ICON III
Unique sculpture of a male back figure, steelmesh, copper colour, free-standing on a metal base
Size: 510mm x 180mm x 125mm
POA