David's paintings have a vocabulary of shape and color that allude to story and still life but remain ambiguous in their narrative. His early influences of Abstract Expressionism and large paintings have shifted to a more refined sense of surface and shape as well as a much smaller scale of painting.
His collaborative work with Steve Ford since 1988. Their work is known for it's painterly sense of color,pattern and texture. They remain at the forfront of American Craft and in the permenent collections of The Philadelphia Museum of Art, The Fuller Craft Museum, The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston as well as many private collections.
After many years working at a jewelers desk within the scale of wearable art jewelry David proposed a self-challenge to make small 5”x5” paintings on paper in 2003. These paintings had no direct or obvious relation to the past years of jewelry forms other than scale. His vocabulary of shapes, colors and painted surfaces cary over from his early work as a painter but with a more mature sensibility and focus. David's newest paintings continue this impulse while referencing his new environment (since 2005) of the New Mexican landscape. While these painted improvisations fall between landscape and still life they remain free of either category. The playful “cartoon-like” forms act as living bodies and/or stationary objects in the abstract sense of place.
David Forlano ~ 2011
"I think there is a direct influence in my paintings from working with jewelry for 20+ year. The primary reason I am painting small is a conscious choice to work on the table within the same real estate that I have been making jewelry. It also feels right flat on the table and not on the wall. Color has always been a big part of what I do but the many years of shifting palettes in polymer clay have helped inform my current color choices. I think I have a much more mature sense of color now. The shapes and forms in my paintings are very much like the vocabulary I worked with many years ago when I was painting on a much larger scale. I can also see that assembly/composition of the paintings is similar to the way a brooch or necklace parts may interact. I am also considering the singularity of an image an the page/panel. While the painting is itself an object I am very interested in placing objects onto a field. I think there is a direct link to the way I have been placing jewelry objects on the table."