Daven describes himself as an ‘urban realist’, painting life as he sees it on the city’s streets. Dave is essentially self-taught spending only one year in a twice weekly evening open painting session at the American Academy of Art in Chicago. A long time Chicagoan and only moving to St. Louis in 2006 Dave is fascinated by urban life. In 2007 he picked up his brushes again after a 16 year hiatus. Since moving to St. Louis, Dave alternates his subject matter between the three series described below, other urban settings and those of St. Louis.
One of his artistic intentions is to complete a series of approximately 65 works of the people and work on the inland waterway system. Titled ‘The Rivers: A Celebration of Life and Work on our Navigable Inland Waterways’ Daven has completed approximately 30 of the works and plans on completeing the series by 2017. As a US Coast Guard artist and a graduate of the US Naval Academy, the series is a natural marriage of Daven’s love of the water and his passion for painting. The series is presently scheduled for exhibition at the Crisp Museum of Art opening May 6th, 2016 followed by the St. Louis Mercantile Library in February and March of 2017. Four more museum exhibitions are planned. An approximate 100 page exhibition catalogue will support the exhibition.
Dave is a studio painter. Walking the streets or plying the rivers or Blues Clubs with his camera he constantly searches for images that capture his imagination. The first phase of his effort is to capture the image in multiple shots even returning numerous times as the lighting changes. He uses his photos to develop a final composition. The next phase, the drawing of the piece, is critical to his work and can take significant time. Lastly, the final coloration and painting of the work completes the cycle.