David Schnell’s large-scale paintings refract traditional landscape painting approaches and tableaux via a geometric prism. Schnell’s paintings are created employing classic horizon and perspective concepts, giving them the appearance of Renaissance masterworks. However, in contrast to more biomorphic forms, the artist’s picture planes are densely packed with sharp-edged, tonal geometric patterns that appear to be digital faults or mirror shards, undercutting this traditional tone. His works focus on disorder and chaos, man-made and natural architecture, as well as the past, present, and future.
Schnell’s style is contradictory in that, although striving for a high level of abstraction in his paintings, he nevertheless integrates aspects of nature. He also incorporates several references into his writings. Sources of inspiration include seventeenth-century Dutch landscape paintings and video game aesthetics. His pictures’ degree of hybridization allows him to mix complementary sources and references that are suited for a deprioritized approach in which high, trivial, and popular culture are mixed together. Schnell’s paintings show his ability to establish an unsteady but precise balance between the use of illusionistic depth and a surface treatment that emphasises the image’s flatness.