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David Reed - Artists - Spellman Gallery

No. 174, 1982

Multi talented with accomplishments as an abstract painter, installation sculptor, and video artist, Reed’s goal is to embrace conscious and unconscious time, human intellect and emotions. Many of his images are from art history such as Italian Baroque and works by Degas and Delacroix.

He was born in San Diego, California and in 1968 earned a B.A. Degree from Reed College in Oregon. He also studied at the New York Studio School and the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Maine. Originally he planned to be a doctor, but study with realist painter Willard Midgette inspired him to change direction.

He became a New York based artist who early in his career did figurative subjects. Then he traveled in the West, especially Arizona and New Mexico, which inspired him to turn to themes of wide open spaces. He works from a lower Manhattan four-room studio with several assistants. He has been married twice; the first wife was artist Judy Rifka and the second sculptor and jewelry designer Lillian Ball.

He does not have a pre-conceived plan for most of his paintings but applies the paint thickly, often sanding it off, and layering with more paint. Some of his paintings take several years, and his goal is to create works that are challenging to the viewer in that they are both attractive and repulsive.

He describes his work as concerned with the fantastic and challenging the viewer with “eerie conundrums.” In 1995, he began to work with video, digitally inserting one of his paintings into a Hitchcock film, “Vertigo.”

Biography from the Archives of AskART.