Wilkey was born and lives in Bath.
work was influenced by the surrealists, in particular Magritte
and he went on from there painting realist style paintings
based on his own photographs. Nearly always painting in oils,
he has also dabbled in acrylics but found oils much easier
work with starting with a monotone sketch for tonal values
and working this up into a finished painting.
Peter Davies - The Bath Society of Artists - A History (extract)
The theme of the human figure underwent novel interpretations at this period (1980's) David Wilkey's Karen and Nigel Cann's excellent Summer Afternoon in Clifton set the figure in alternatively erotically charged domestic and languid outdoor contexts respectively. As a fashion photographer Wilkey used glamour models as subjects for accomplished à la mode compositions in a very 1970s near-photo real manner. The back covers of several Society exhibition catalogues during the late 1980s carried Wilkey's fashion photo ads, a not altogether appropriate way of illustrating fine art brochures though providing much-needed revenue towards publication costs. At the 1989 show Wilkey created tantalising images of clothed but dripping models emerging nymph-like from swimming pools. Tammy at Laura Place fell short of soft porn to be illustrated in the Chronicle's review. The fertile collusion between commercial fashion and fine art poses yielded the enigmatic Jay, Summer 85 comprising an Ophelia-like clothed figure dangerously abandoned in the water. Jay was a fine art, rather than a fashion model. The disturbed dysfunction and surreal disquiet of Cindy Sherman's contemporary photo imagery was recalled. Within safe, mainstream figurative painting, therefore, Wilkey created racy, cutting edge imagery.
David painting 'Tammy at the Einion Gam' (note: cat in paint box!)
Maree - Oil on canvas