Hungry Man director David Allain has just completed a spot for CALM, the Campaign Against Living Miserably. CALM, is a registered charity, which exists to prevent male suicide in the UK. In 2014, male suicide accounts for 76% of all suicides and is the single biggest cause of death in men under 45 in the UK. This is a truly personal project for David. He developed the concept and wrote the script himself, and all of the monologues are quotes taken directly from real men that have used CALM in their battle against depression and to resist suicide. As he puts it, “I wanted to create mini scenes that aren’t what we expect to see and yet are rooted in the journeys of real men.” It’s not Hungry Man’s usual goofy-go-lucky schitck but we’re hoping that digression from the bits and the jokes will help to convey the severity of the issue and we can think of no better director to bring this into the light than David.
In 2010, David created a piece with his long time collaborator V.V. Brown and made a pop art piece mixing photography and illustration. The piece reflected Architecture Week and depicted a Monopoly board where mini Polaroids of architecture from around London took them from the 11th Century up to the 21st. It also employed Pentonville Prison as ‘Jail’, a free Congestion Charge instead of ‘Free Parking’, and Inheritance Tax instead of ‘Luxury Tax’. It was called ‘Board of the Capital’ and it appeared in the collection alongside works by the likes of Grayson Perry, Moby, and Marc Quinn.
In 2012, they were invited to contribute to another collection by Shelter. This time all of the pieces in the collection were curated under the theme Up My Street. David made a piece that mixed photography and illustration called ‘My Ends Live on the Back of a City Fox’. Inspired by Native American and Indian folklore where the world is believed to sit on the back of an animal (elephant, turtle etc.), he showed his world (East London – from where he then lived by Roman Road to Shoreditch High St) on the back of an urban fox, which David felt to be a mascot for his London. The image in the middle is a composite of architecture and landmarks along his way to Shoreditch High St (Brick Lane Bagel Shop, Buddhist Centre, Box Park, RickMix, Shoreditch House etc.) and the frame consists of all of the road signs between his home and there. This window onto East London is sat upon by two people he felt typical of the area – a student and a wino. This piece was hung beside a piece by Jake and Dinos Chapman and appeared in the collection with works by other artists including Miles Aldridge and Anthony Gormley.