in Wangaratta in 1958 David Laity originally trained to be a motor
mechanic. In 1983 he moved to Perth on
an extended holiday - whilst in Perth he decided to turn his hobby of drawing
cartoons into a career. His "Rat
Race" comic strip was first published in the Perth Western Mail in October
1983. In 1984 he moved to Shepparton,
Victoria where he lived for the next two years - his comic strip was published
in the Shepparton News throughout 1984-87.
During this period he also completed a drawing course at the Shepparton
Technical and Further Education College.
His cartoons were humorous, non-political observations on daily
life. The Benalla and Shepparton Art
Galleries gave him a solo show called "Out on a Limb: an exhibition of
cartoons by David Laity" in 1987.
Then followed the publication of "It's a Rat Race" (with
foreword by Les Tanner) in 1989. Laity evolved his cartooning so as to include
single frame and full colour work - this was to lead to the next stage in his
career where in 1993 he took up oil painting.
paintings have variously been compared, in style and content, to those of Beryl
Cook and Jeff Coons. He is best known
for his very stylish, beautifully crafted evocations of female sexuality. His paintings owe a debt to his earlier
career as a cartoonist, in that they have been pared down and crafted through
an economy of line and stylised in the manner of caricature. This is not unlike that of the great
Colombian artist Ferdinand Botero.
Botero's signature style, also known as "Boterismo" is
characterised by people and figures in large, exaggerated volume. This description could apply to Laity's paintings
which can be seen as, in terms of style and palette, highly sexualised
palpable as the sexuality is in Laity's paintings, they tend not to the
offensive - they are a celebration of sensuality presented in a playful and
loving manner. The potential to offend
is mitigated by their "Boterismo" style. These paintings do not present naturalistic
portrayals of the female genitalia as say Courbet's "Origin of the
World". Rather, they are
beautifully crafted, stylised, exaggerated celebrations of a "sexy",
"naughty" female icon. To
quote Laity himself: "I paint what I like.
I like the sensuality and beauty of the feminine form. My works are a
celebration of love and intimacy. I am trying to show that sexuality is
something that can and should be held".
works are much coveted. He has had many
successful solo exhibitions since his first show "Girls" held at
Kazbar, Melbourne in 1995. Largely
self-taught, he believes that important things - inspiration, passion and
perseverance - cannot be taught but must come from within.