Press and Response

Press and Response

"I'm fortunate to have seen the first installation of David Wallace Haskins' Skywall in a private interior space before he built Skycube outside the Elmhurst Art Museum. This spring I was equally pleased to visit his impressive solo exhibition, Presence, at the Elmhurst museum. Skycube is a work of singular beauty that's at once simple and complex, and breathtaking at first glance. Sustained viewing becomes a contemplative experience. As with the works in the exhibition, with artful yet straightforward means, David guides—shocks—the viewer into reexamining the world we take for granted. What we see, feel, hear, and touch is artfully scrambled as we wander through the various spaces. We emerge with an altered understanding of our environment and perceptions of it. David uses light and dark, mirrors, recordings, and textured surfaces strategically and ingeniously crafted to divert, challenge and enlighten us. With echoes of Magritte, Turrell, and Acconci, David plays with the dualities of art and science, the real and the virtual, and the natural and the artificial in a way that's simultaneously direct and accessible, mysterious and evocative. His exhibition has generated a remarkable level of interest from the public, media and art community, and points to a bright future."

David StarkChief Curator, Columbus Museum of Art 

"By the end of the night, there was an electricity in the air; a new inspired energy bounced around the galleries. Haskins’ show provides visitors with insight into how their physicality interacts with space and allows them to encounter light and space as physical presences themselves--experiences that result in a new level of self-awareness and excitement about the basic elements around us." 

Erin Clancy, EAM Curatorial Assistant

Chicago Tribune 
Chicago Splash
Art Daily
Bad at Sports
Third Coast Review 
Crain's Chicago Business 1
Crain's Chicago Business 2
Clef Notes
ABC News
WDCB News Art's Section by Gary Zidek

Letters to Elmhurst Art Museum from Visitors of PRESENCE, and POLARITY:

"Amazing art by an amazing artist. I have told everyone to make sure to take time to see it. It is an exquisitely and disorientingly beautiful experience of light, self, and otherness. I don't have words. Thank you."

W. Harrison

"I just had the most incredible journey into "Presence" realizing the potential of myself, so powerful and expansive. 

I've never experienced artwork like this, that invokes such serious shifts in perception. I was brought back to the feelings of some of my most treasured moments of Self-realization, or Self-liberation, or.. whatever you want to call it. I didn't know it was possible to reenact such untouchable Presence. Can't wait to see all the genius ideas David has in store! It was seriously so incredible."

Megan C.

"At first when I encountered Time Mirror, I didn't like myself. I looked awkward and gangly. I moved away from the looking. 

Then, when my friends and I came back later, we started talking about it. . . The pivotal moment came when my dear friend said to me, "D, THIS [pointing to me in the Time Mirror] is the D I love."

All of a sudden, I was able to accept myself and celebrate who I am. And then I started crying.

. . . Thank you, Mr. Haskins, for your work, for your celebration of people, and for creating art that gently takes down the veils. I really appreciate it." 

D. K. (complete letter)

“Although all of the work was fabulous, I must admit Time Mirror was my favorite.

I was so overwhelmed with confusion and emotions of seeing me as a completely separate person. . . Suddenly, I felt my eyes water with excitement and emotions I had never experienced before.

For the first time, in my entire life, I saw myself as a real person. I saw myself from someone else’s eyes. She looked so happy and silly. As I saw her cry, I cried even more because for once I cared about her as if she was a regular human being.

            Every day that I’ve been alive, I have seen myself in mirrors, videos, or pictures. Yet, for some reason experiencing Time Mirror was completely different.

In all honesty, I felt like it was a life changing experience to see myself like that.

. . .Our lives are surrounded with picture perfect displays of who we want to be, or how we want others to see us; whether it is through selfies or Facebook, we create this image of ourselves. I got so used to the person I thought I was, or wanted others to think I was, that I forgot who I truly was, and that’s exactly what Time Mirror brought back.

C. P. (complete letter)

"I cannot begin to express the gratitude I feel. I am absolutely speechless.

This is without a doubt THE BEST ART EXHIBIT THAT I HAVE EVER SEEN IN MY ENTIRE LIFE. I say that in all caps because to the core of my being I know that it is true. I have been to many museums in Cairo, Paris, Bogota, London, Berlin, Santa Fe, L.A., Rome, Beijing, Washington D.C., Manila, Amman, Houston, Jerusalem, and this is the cream of the crop. These experiences took me back to my childhood, and childlike perception of the world. As I was when I was a child I am filled with wonder. Thank you for making wonder a little more tangible." 

D. Moore

Public Responses to PRESENCE on Social Media:

"I just experienced the most interesting art immersion/experience of my life. It's hard to explain "Presence" at the Elmhurst Art Museum. It's a must see and only around until May 8th. Having the artist walk with us through the 7 interactive exhibits of light, sound, space, time, mystery and multi dimensional mixed media certainly added to the experience. He is here most weekends. Nevertheless, even without the guided tour, this is a must see. I'm still amazed by the last 90 minutes and don't have adequate words to describe. I can only say I'm left slightly disoriented, extremely inspired and filled with childlike wonder."

Vito L.

"David Wallace Haskins PRESENCE is one of the deepest, Self-connected installations I could ever imagine. The Void... a Portal to Heaven. Grateful for this experience he's manifesting for us to encounter. I only wish I could spend more time in it. Do. Not. Miss. This."

Matthew Larsen

"I LOVED the Soundcube. I felt as if the notes were swimming around my head and that I could pluck them right out of the air. I wanted to just reach out and grab them. It is truly unbelievable to stand in the space and take in the sounds that envelop you from every direction."

Carol D.

"It is something to behold...perception, reflection, darkness...light. I am going again this weekend! It is "WAY better" than revisiting Van Gogh for the millionth time."

Suzanne Far

"This exhibition is a stunning experience of time, sound, light and space. If you are in Chicago you must go and experience it. It's physically moving and mysterious in a way that I'm not able to describe here, & the culmination of twenty years of work on the part of David Wallace Haskins.

If you're in Miami or LA, this exhibition is built for a city filled with light, and it will be there some time in the future. I am sure of it."

Bryan Campen

"What a delight and honor to see, it was amazing!! We were absolutely enthralled. I highly recommend checking it out if you get the chance. I promise you will be very glad you did. Take a friend and it will be even more amazing!"