You and I, we’re like diamonds in the sky (after Rihanna)

Commissioned for the TarraWarra Biennial 2023: ua usiusi faʻavaʻasavilicurated by Dr Léuli Eshrāghi, this wall-based installation comprises two works; an extensive silk-screened calico wall covering, Looking to the stars for answers 2023 and a suite of 16 miniature paintings of the artist and his partner set against a star-studded night, You and I, we’re like diamonds in the sky (after Rihanna) 2023. The anchor image applied across the wall depicts one of the observatory towers at the Jantar Mantar, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Jaipur, India. Commissioned by Maharaja Jai Singh II between 1724–1735, the Jantar Mantar can still be used to observe and measure planetary movements from specific locations across northern India. These structures, a confluence of astrology and astronomy, were designed to immerse and suspend the observer within the endless velvety ocean of the night sky. David has worked with Rajasthani miniaturists since the mid-1990s, articulating his queer embodiment and plural histories by combining their signature imagery with references to minimalism and pop. Embellished with Swarovski crystals, the portraits of David feature his zodiac sign Pisces, the portraits of his partner Ben hold Aquarius in glistening form, and the couple portraits host the conjunction of both, purposefully making evident the connections between terrestrial and celestial realms.

You and I, we’re like diamonds in the sky (after Rihanna), 2023