A self-taught artist, most of Whittaker’s paintings are based on an interpretation of the human head and its metaphysical core. Whittaker’s portraits are ambiguous, with the aim to represent the universal alongside the personal. The works often juggle dual states of inner and outer calm and conflict – offering a glimpse of strength and fragility, the conscious and the subconscious, the masculine and the feminine. These universal states of conflict, clearly identifiable in Whittaker’s works, are arguably reinforced by Whittaker’s gender dysphoria and the personal struggle with a condition that he/she has learned to live with through the endeavour of expressing something bigger than oneself through painting.
David Kim Whittaker was the recipient of the Towry Award (First Prize) at the 2011 National Open Art Competition.