David Kooi's works are products of a restless, promiscuous imagination: photo reliquaries transpose photographic images from David's travels and private history onto containers designed to store other inscrutable or whimsical three-dimensional objects that have captured David's singular attention; boxes, conversely, are empty, and are useless except for examining as meticulously crafted objects of distorted, idiosyncratic beauty.
Such artistic wanderlust is perhaps to be expected from David, who perfected aimlessness during long walks and drives through the landscapes of his rural Illinois childhood. Perhaps Illinois' geography is what nurtured David's ability to see and document the ordinary loveliness that exists helplessly all around us: a spiky, perfectly round seed pod; a slender, shapely glass vial filled with mysterious liquid; a child's disembodied face floating on a billboard perched against a colorless backdrop of gray, crumbling buildings.
Perhaps it was moving to England for when he was nine with his fathera Methodist ministerand mother that nurtured David's love for travel and for collecting odd souvenirs from his visits: a discarded plastic toy lamb from a trip to the Acropolis, for instance. (David's interest in travel persists: he has visited South Korea and Mongolia six times in the past five years.)