David Culver


I once heard the painter Phillip Guston preface a lecture with the statement that he felt that “Anyone who wanted to hear an artist talk about his own work probably just needed glasses”. If you are looking into the work, rather than looking at it, if you are being touched in some way by it, then I don’t think I can explain much about that or that anything I would say would help much to inform your experience. So this letter in a bottle, to you who are interested enough to read this is more about my process and considerations, my inspirations and influences than my results.

I operate on a foundation that all that I, and others, have done before me, is a larger effort to do it right. I watch everything and ideas seem to percolate through it all. I am on the lookout for and seem to be sensitive to imagery and ideas that somehow resonate with my particular aesthetic, my personal sense of beauty and harmony. I will see things and get inspiration for what and how to bring something into realization. My part in the process is in the choir.

Once I have an idea, I seem to subconsciously decide which medium to use; the idea usually includes the method. I use a lot of different materials and processes that I believe are compatible in my body of work.

My strategies and tactics vary but once I find the right, efficient and effective way to work on a piece, I have a determination to get it to that clear, clean and elegant place where it “works “ in my mind, meets a criterion of mine. Along the way, I seem to befriend the work, develop a sort of Pygmalion and Galatea, horse and rider relationship with this developing thing from my mind but now external to it. Occasionally, if I am lucky, I seem to fall in love with the pieces, they work for me and I know when they are finished. Once they are done, it’s like having a litter of puppies: you love them all and they are so cute, but you know the consequences of keeping them all and want to find them good homes. They really are complete when they find their place in the world.

I feel remarkably fortunate to be an artist.

CV [opens as PDF]

Recent Work


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