David Palumbo is represented by Rehs Contemporary in New York, NY
Born: Marquette, MI 1982
2000-2004, Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Philadelphia PA
2000, Graduated Emmaus High School, Emmaus PA
2017: Skin and Tonic (two man show with Todd Casey), Rehs Contemporary, New York, NY
2017: Ritual, IX Gallery *
2016: IX Preview, The Delaware Art Museum, Wilmington, DE
2016: Up From the Depths, Copro Gallery, Santa Monica, CA
2015: InfraREAL, Jonathan Levine Gallery, New York, NY
2015: Roadside Attractions, Copro Gallery, Santa Monica, CA
2015: The Art of David Palumbo, University of the Arts, Philadelphia, PA *
2014: Spectrum 3, Museum of American Illustration, New York, NY
2012: At The Edge: The Art of the Fantastic, Allentown Art Museum, Allentown PA
2012: Recent Works, Artists House, Philadelphia PA *
2011: Friends of the Beast, OhNo!Doom, Chicago IL
2011: Microvisions 6, Museum of American Illustration, New York NY
2010: Bande Dessinee, Espace Tajan, Paris France
2010: Recent Works, Artists House, Philadelphia PA *
2010: Painted Ladies, OhNo!Doom, Chicago IL
2010: The Figure - Then and Now, Delaware County Community College, Media PA
2009: Spectrum 2, Museum of American Illustration, New York NY *
2009: Candy Coated Canvas, London Miles, London England
2009: Nesting, A.Okay Official, Chicago IL
2009: Waiting for the Train (recent paintings), Artists House, Philadelphia PA *
2008: Young Guns, Io Gallery, Cornwall CT
2007: Time and Place, Artists House, Philadelphia PA
2007: Recommended Reading (recent paintings), Artists House, Philadelphia PA *
2005: Recent Paintings, Artists House, Philadelphia PA *
2004: Summer Phantasm 2, Ashley Gallery, Philadelphia PA
2004: Summer Phantasm, 2/20 Gallery, New York NY
2004: Emerging Artists, Artists House, Philadelphia PA
2004: Winter Phantasm, 2/20 Gallery, New York NY
About the Work
My longest running series of non-commissioned work has been an ongoing series of nudes. These started as a technical exercise in the fall of 2008 when I was exploring a more painterly process than what I was doing in my early commercial work. I've always had a particular interest in the figure and, for the first few years of this project, I didn't really examine any deeper motive or message. Looking back, however, I can see that there were clear choices and patterns that were formed very early.
It was always clear to me that the series has a more sexual tone to it than you might see in academic nudes. At times I've been more comfortable to address this than others, mostly because I did not always know what to really say about it. From very early on, I was specifically aiming to avoid anything that might be cheesecake pin-up. I wanted the paintings to be more personal and more intimate than that. Outside of this, I was often steering by instinct, allowing trial and error to shape the path I would follow.
As a place to explore process and technique, these paintings were largely about how to achieve realism that felt alive. For me, this lies in finding balance between accuracy and abstraction. Passages which are more defined are contrasted against others which are more suggested. In doing this, I'm constantly questioning what information is essential and what can be left out. My goal is to allow even the brush strokes to help create an emotional connection.
But understanding the story of the series has become my key interest in recent years. On the surface, the narrative has always been fairly voyeuristic. I see now that this is also about performance. The subject is always aware of an audience. Of course, this is literally true in the studio. I discuss ideas and costuming with my models, but I want for them to find their own rhythm from there. In being the focus of attention, I want for my subject to feel beautiful and desired. I'm fascinated to see what someone in this context will do, and I look for unexpected moments that feel true in their intimacy and confidence.
Beyond playing the part of audience, there is another side which I suspect has always been driving this project. The subjects of my paintings exhibit poise and sexual confidence, whereas I've always struggled to understand what it looks like in our culture, as a man, to simply be sexy. But it's something I want to feel. And so there is absolutely a component to this series which is about wanting to enjoy what the subjects of my paintings display: a confidence in one's allure. A connection to one's sexual self. And the freedom to enjoy these qualities without shame.
All images contained within this website are copyright © David Palumbo. Images are intended for viewing only, no reproduction of these images is permitted.