David Haines’s realistic and subtle drawings are reminiscent of certain children’s book illustrations. His figures look as if they’ve stepped out of a bizarre book for boys. They are involved in mysterious, cruel and occult actions, which are linked to pornography and fetishism, but also with innocent adolescent behaviour. Haines is concerned with the personal mythologies people create in order to ‘control the chaos of existence’ as he puts it. He is, for instance, fascinated by how people design an identity on the internet. In works like ‘Ambiguous Myth’ and ‘Dissolving Prophecies’ Haines draws a world made up of photographic material from the web. Haines layers images, meanings and associations. In various drawings, for example, he features sneakers made by exclusive brand Osiris, referring to both sneaker fan websites and Osiris, the Ancient Egyptian god of the dead. In this way virtual realities from the past and present blend together in the grey of Haines’ HB pencils.
Terry van Drutten, 2007