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BIOGRAPHY - David Palumbo (Born 1982)

dave palumbo- 35rt.jpg

Painter David Palumbo was born in 1982 in Marquette, Michigan in the state's upper peninsula, where his father worked as an English professor. Shortly after his birth, however, the family moved to Ohio where they lived for the next four years. By the time Palumbo entered third grade, the family had moved to Pennsylvania where they settled.

As children, Palumbo and his older brother Anthony were introduced to the visual arts in the form of the science fiction and comic books enjoyed by their father as well as the drawing classes that their mother took. Eventually, those drawing classes led to a career in illustration for Palumbo's mother. Her second marriage, to a fellow illustrator in 1994, also created an environment in which the teenage Palumbo daily observed an example of working artists who earned a living in the visual arts.

Not surprisingly, Palumbo chose to attend the historic Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA) in nearby Philadelphia after graduating from high school in Allentown in 2000. His older brother, who was already enrolled in the program there, recommended the studio-based curriculum that focused on drawing and painting. With a selective enrollment of approximately 250 students, and a historical record dating back to 1804, PAFA offered an education grounded in the classical precepts that were at the heart of visual arts training in Europe beginning in Renaissance Italy. Looking back, Palumbo notes that his years at PAFA provided him with a solid foundation for realist and figure painting.

While a student at PAFA, Palumbo also attended several summer workshops taught by the realist painter Burt Silverman at his upstate New York home. Although these workshops were short-term programs, Silverman proved to be a very good teacher who made important contributions to the young painter's education.

During his third and fourth year student exhibitions at PAFA, Palumbo was also introduced to the Artist House Gallery in Philadelphia, which was then owned by a former PAFA student who emphasized realist art in her gallery. For Palumbo, this was not only an opportunity to begin exhibiting his work professionally, but also a chance to learn about the art market and the gallery world from someone he trusted. He continued to work with Art House Gallery until 2013 when the owner retired.

With a sound academic education, and a modicum of knowledge about the commercial business of the art world, Palumbo began exploring illustration as a career shortly after his graduation from PAFA in 2004. He credits his mother and step-father for setting an example of artists making a living as illustrators, but also points to classic American illustrators such as J. C. Leyendecker (1874-1951) and contemporary artists such as Robert McGinnis and Sam Weber as significant influences on his development.

Palumbo quickly realized that illustration was a very competitive field, and that he needed to acquire business skills in order to succeed. For the next six or seven years, he focused on building his reputation as a freelance illustrator working for a variety of clients, including Marvel Comics. It was his relationship with Wizards of the Coast, LLC, however, that solidified Palumbo’s reputation as an illustrator. He was initially hired to design images for a one-on-one strategy card game called Magic The Gathering, and continued to develop the game images over several years. These evocative images in the increasingly popular game brought Palumbo’s work to the attention of many other potential clients. Night Shade Books in San Francisco, a freelance client for whom Palumbo had been working since 2007, asked him to serve as the art director for the publishing company beginning in 2010. As the painter recalls these early years as an illustrator, he notes that they taught him about working with clients, learning how to work within a corporate structure, and how to communicate effectively.

The success of his work as an illustrator was underscored by professional recognition from the Spectrum annual awards program in 2011 and 2013; Palumbo won a gold award for a book cover, and a silver award for a comic book cover in 2011, and another gold award for a book cover in 2013. In 2012, he received a Chesley award for gaming-related illustration from the American Society of Science Fiction and Fantasy Artists.

About four years after beginning his career as an illustrator, Palumbo began experimenting with a looser style of figure painting as an alternative to the very tightly drawn and detailed illustrations he was producing for his clients. Working with friends in the theater and dance community as models, he created a number of small figure paintings, generally about 5 x 7 inches. The small scale offered a manageable size for ‘after hours’ experimentation and ultimately led to new explorations in texture and paint; it also marked the beginning of Palumbo’s shift to a more painterly process.

By late 2011, Palumbo was increasingly frustrated with what he describes as the “uptight rendering style” commonly expected of fantasy illustration and realized that he had something different to offer as a painter. As he continued to develop his personal style, he emphasized not only figural realism, but also strove to suggest a narrative through mood and atmosphere, thus evoking a sense that there is a story to be told if the viewer is interested in imagining what might be implied in the images.

During this same time period, Palumbo was asked to participate in an exhibition at the Allentown Art Museum. Curated by Patrick and Jeannie Wilshire, At the Edge: Art of the Fantastic showcased 165 art works dating from 1797-2012; their goal was to increase awareness of what they dubbed "imaginative realism". The show opened in May 2012 and ran for six months. Palumbo was naturally pleased to be included in a museum exhibition, as well as very supportive of the concept that “imaginative realism” deserves to be further studied as an art historical genre in its own right.

In December of 2012, Palumbo’s work also came to the attention of an artist’s representative who approached him about his illustration work. That has resulted in new opportunities doing illustration work for larger clients such as The New Yorker and the Wall Street Journal as well as one of the artist’s favorites projects—a cover portrait of David Bowie for the Italian edition of Rolling Stone. His work today continues to blend illustration and painting in a personal conversation that strengthens and enriches both forms.

Janet Whitmore, Ph.D.


Artist Statement:


"Nudity is absent of sexuality by default.  We provide that in our minds after the fact and according to the context of the situation.  The degrees by which we, as individuals, will judge such a thing seem to be infinitely minute and varied, as are the reactions which will be provoked.  My intention in the works contained in this series is to examine and walk that line.  I enjoy painting portraits and nudes which not only celebrated the elegance of human form, but also touch on the positive and beautiful aspects of sexuality and confidence.

It is tremendously important to me that the work feel tasteful and honest and for the models themselves to feel sexy and self assured.  I paint women who are individuals and not generalizations to better capture the intimacy and humanity of these private moments.  Every model brings her own personality into the process which then leads to exciting new ideas and opportunities.  After all, individual quirks are what make painting people far more interesting to me than painting objects and landscapes."

 

AVAILABLE WORKS
david_palumbo_dp1162_black_knight_swordsman_small.jpg
David Palumbo
(Born 1982)
Black Knight vs. Swordsman
Oil on panel
7 x 5 inches
Signed
david_palumbo_dp1164_nebula_small.jpg
David Palumbo
(Born 1982)
Nebula
Oil on panel
7 x 5 inches
Signed
david_palumbo_dp1165_hawkeye bullseye_small.jpg
David Palumbo
(Born 1982)
Hawkeye vs. Bullseye
Oil on panel
7 x 5 inches
Signed
david_palumbo_dp1149_green_goblin_small.jpg
David Palumbo
(Born 1982)
Green Goblin
Oil on panel
24 x 18 inches
Signed
david_palumbo_dp1151_nighthawk_small.jpg
David Palumbo
(Born 1982)
Nighthawk
Oil on panel
16 x 12 inches
Signed
david_palumbo_dp1153_black_widow_small.jpg
David Palumbo
(Born 1982)
Black Widow
Oil on panel
24 x 18 inches
Signed
david_palumbo_dp1154_enchantress_small.jpg
David Palumbo
(Born 1982)
Enchantress
Oil on panel
24 x 18 inches
Signed
david_palumbo_dp1155_blade_small.jpg
David Palumbo
(Born 1982)
Blade
Oil on panel
16 x 12 inches
Signed
david_palumbo_dp1157_hulk_vs_thanos_small.jpg
David Palumbo
(Born 1982)
Hulk vs. Thanos
Oil on panel
16 x 12 inches
Signed
david_palumbo_dp1158_hawkeye_small.jpg
David Palumbo
(Born 1982)
Hawkeye
Oil on panel
16 x 12 inches
Signed
david_palumbo_dp1161_beast_small.jpg
David Palumbo
(Born 1982)
Beast
Oil on panel
16 x 12 inches
Signed
david_palumbo_dp1143_stephie_40_small.jpg
David Palumbo
(Born 1982)
Stephie 40
Oil on panel
7 x 5 inches
Signed
david_palumbo_dp1136_liz_10_small.jpg
David Palumbo
(Born 1982)
Liz 10
Oil on panel
5 x 7 inches
Signed
david_palumbo_dp1142_meredith_20_small.jpg
David Palumbo
(Born 1982)
Meredith 20
Oil on panel
7 x 5 inches
Signed
david_palumbo_dp1144_janette_47_small.jpg
David Palumbo
(Born 1982)
Janette 47
Oil on panel
5 x 7 inches
Signed
david_palumbo_dp1137_julz_25_small.jpg
David Palumbo
(Born 1982)
Julz 25
Oil on panel
7 x 5 inches
Signed
david_palumbo_dp1131_vignette_small.jpg
David Palumbo
(Born 1982)
Vignette
Oil on panel
9 x 12 inches
Signed
david_palumbo_dp1128_september_moon_small.jpg
David Palumbo
(Born 1982)
September Moon
Oil on panel
20 x 16 inches
Signed
david_palumbo_dp1062_stephie_29_small.jpg
David Palumbo
(Born 1982)
Stephie #29
Oil on panel
7 x 5 inches
Signed
david_palumbo_dp1066_randi_18_small.jpg
David Palumbo
(Born 1982)
Randi #18
Oil on panel
7 x 5 inches
Signed
david_palumbo_dp1124_undressing_3_small.jpg
David Palumbo
(Born 1982)
Undressing 3
Oil on panel
20 x 16 inches
Signed
david_palumbo_dp1092_meredith_17_small.jpg
David Palumbo
(Born 1982)
Meredith #17
Oil on panel
7 x 5 inches
Signed
david_palumbo_dp1083_stephie_35_small.jpg
David Palumbo
(Born 1982)
Stephie #35
Oil on panel
7 x 5 inches
Signed
david_palumbo_dp1075_undressing_2_small.jpg
David Palumbo
(Born 1982)
Undressing #2
Oil on panel
18 x 24 inches
Signed
david_palumbo_dp1093_janette_42_small.jpg
David Palumbo
(Born 1982)
Janette #42
Oil on panel
7 x 5 inches
Signed
Sold Works
david_palumbo_dp1148_meredith_22_small.jpg
David Palumbo
(Born 1982)
Meredith 22
Oil on panel
7 x 5 inches
Signed
david_palumbo_dp1145_meredith_19_small.jpg
David Palumbo
(Born 1982)
Meredith 19
Oil on panel
5 x 7 inches
Signed
david_palumbo_dp1139_stephie_27_small.jpg
David Palumbo
(Born 1982)
Stephie 27
Oil on panel
7 x 5 inches
Signed
david_palumbo_dp1141_janette_45_small.jpg
David Palumbo
(Born 1982)
Janette 45
Oil on panel
5 x 7 inches
Signed
david_palumbo_dp1138_randi_20_small.jpg
David Palumbo
(Born 1982)
Randi 20
Oil on panel
5 x 7 inches
Signed
david_palumbo_dp1129_figure_in_pink_small.jpg
David Palumbo
(Born 1982)
Figure in Pink
Oil on panel
9 x 12 inches
Signed
david_palumbo_dp1061_curve_small.jpg
David Palumbo
(Born 1982)
Curve
Oil on panel
12 x 16 1/2 inches
Signed
david_palumbo_dp1063_jacqueline_17_small.jpg
David Palumbo
(Born 1982)
Jacqueline #17
Oil on panel
7 x 5 inches
Signed
david_palumbo_dp1120_ponytail_small.jpg
David Palumbo
(Born 1982)
Ponytail
Oil on board
16 x 12 inches
Signed
david_palumbo_dp1070_a_soft_touch_small.jpg
David Palumbo
(Born 1982)
A Soft Touch
Oil on panel
9 x 12 inches
Signed
david_palumbo_dp1114_nude_woman_from_behind_small.jpg
David Palumbo
(Born 1982)
Nude Woman from Behind
Oil on board
12 x 9 inches
Signed
david_palumbo_dp1072_revealing_small.jpg
David Palumbo
(Born 1982)
Revealing
Oil on panel
30 x 40 inches
Signed
david_palumbo_dp1107_meredith_16_small.jpg
David Palumbo
(Born 1982)
Meredith #16
Oil on panel
7 x 5 inches
Signed
david_palumbo_dp1113_a_study_in_curves_small.jpg
David Palumbo
(Born 1982)
A Study in Curves
Oil on board
9 x 12 inches
Signed
david_palumbo_dp1101_christine_3_small.jpg
David Palumbo
(Born 1982)
Christine #3
Oil on board
7 x 5 inches
Signed
david_palumbo_dp1119_feline_small.jpg
David Palumbo
(Born 1982)
Feline
Oil on board
12 x 16 inches
Signed
david_palumbo_dp1077_gina_5_small.jpg
David Palumbo
(Born 1982)
Gina #5
Oil on board
7 x 5 inches
Signed
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David Palumbo
(Born 1982)
Gina #6
Oil on board
7 x 5 inches
Signed
david_palumbo_dp1122_in_furs_small.jpg
David Palumbo
(Born 1982)
In Furs
Oil on board
20 x 16 inches
Signed
david_palumbo_dp1102_liz_1_small.jpg
David Palumbo
(Born 1982)
Liz #1
Oil on panel
7 x 5 inches
Signed
david_palumbo_dp1103_liz_3_small.jpg
David Palumbo
(Born 1982)
Liz #3
Oil on panel
5 x 7 inches
Signed
david_palumbo_dp1084_gina_4_small.jpg
David Palumbo
(Born 1982)
Gina #4
Oil on panel
7 x 5 inches
Signed
david_palumbo_dp1091_jacqueline_19_small.jpg
David Palumbo
(Born 1982)
Jacqueline #19
Oil on panel
7 x 5 inches
Signed
david_palumbo_dp1059_cat_nap_small.jpg
David Palumbo
(Born 1982)
Cat Nap
Oil on panel
9 x 12 inches
Signed
david_palumbo_dp1055_randi_16_small.jpg
David Palumbo
(Born 1982)
Randi 16
Oil on panel
5 x 7 inches
Signed
david_palumbo_dp1067_portrait_of_stephie_on_blue_small.jpg
David Palumbo
(Born 1982)
Portrait of Stephie on Blue
Oil on panel
24 x 18 inches
Signed
david_palumbo_dp1053_angela_18_small.jpg
David Palumbo
(Born 1982)
Angela #18
Oil on panel
7 x 5 inches
Signed
david_palumbo_dp1054_jacqueline_15_small.jpg
David Palumbo
(Born 1982)
Jacquline #15
Oil on panel
7 x 5 inches
Signed
david_palumbo_dp1065_stephie_28_small.jpg
David Palumbo
(Born 1982)
Stephie 28
Oil on board
7 x 5 inches
Signed
david_palumbo_dp1056_shoshi_16_small.jpg
David Palumbo
(Born 1982)
Shoshi #16
Oil on panel
7 x 5 inches
Signed
david_palumbo_dp1064_jacqueline_18_small.jpg
David Palumbo
(Born 1982)
Jacqueline 18
Oil on board
7 x 5 inches
Signed
david_palumbo_gina3_small.jpg
David Palumbo
(Born 1982)
Gina 3
Oil on board
7 x 5 inches
Signed
david_palumbo_randi17_small.jpg
David Palumbo
(Born 1982)
Randi 17
Oil on board
7 x 5 inches
Signed
david_palumbo_dp1057_meredith_15_small.jpg
David Palumbo
(Born 1982)
Meredith #15
Oil on panel
7 x 5 inches
Signed
david_palumbo_dp1038_meredith_3_wm_small.jpg
David Palumbo
(Born 1982)
Meredith #3
Oil on panel
5 x 7 inches
Signed
david_palumbo_dp1046_meredith_9_wm_small.jpg
David Palumbo
(Born 1982)
Meredith 9
Oil on panel
5 x 7 inches
Signed
david_palumbo_dp1044_meredith_11_small.jpg
David Palumbo
(Born 1982)
Meredith 11
Oil on panel
7 x 5 inches
Signed
david_palumbo_dp1039_meredith_4_wm_small.jpg
David Palumbo
(Born 1982)
Meredith #4
Oil on board
7 x 5
Signed
david_palumbo_dp1032_window_light_wm_small.jpg
David Palumbo
(Born 1982)
Window Light
Oil on panel
12 x 16 inches
david_palumbo_dp1023_jacqueline_10_wm_small.jpg
David Palumbo
(Born 1982)
Jacqueline #10
Oil on panel
7 x 5 inches
Signed
david_palumbo_dp1029_these_quiet_moments_wm_small.jpg
David Palumbo
(Born 1982)
These Quiet Moments
Oil on panel
18 x 24 inches
Signed
david_palumbo_dp1020_julz_wm_small.jpg
David Palumbo
(Born 1982)
Julz
Oil on canvas
6 x 6 inches
Signed
david_palumbo_dp1026_stephie_on_blue_wm_small.jpg
David Palumbo
(Born 1982)
Stephie on Blue
Oil on panel
9 x 12 inches
Signed
david_palumbo_dp1027_midnight_wm_small.jpg
David Palumbo
(Born 1982)
Midnight
Oil on panel
12 x 9 inches
Signed
david_palumbo_dp1025_by_moonlight_wm_small.jpg
David Palumbo
(Born 1982)
By Moonlight
Oil on panel
36 x 48 inches
Signed
david_palumbo_dp1017_the_pumpkin_king_wm_small.jpg
David Palumbo
(Born 1982)
The Pumpkin King
Oil on board
20 x 13 inches
Signed
david_palumbo_dp1013_gunslinger_wm_small.jpg
David Palumbo
(Born 1982)
Gunslinger
Oil on canvas
10 x 10 inches
Signed
david_palumbo_dp1022_shoshi_13_wm_small.jpg
David Palumbo
(Born 1982)
Shoshi #13
Oil on board
7 x 5 inches
Signed
david_palumbo_dp1024_mary_25_wm_small.jpg
David Palumbo
(Born 1982)
Mary #25
Oil on panel
7 x 5 inches
Signed
david_palumbo_dp1018_wonderland_wm_small.jpg
David Palumbo
(Born 1982)
Wonderland
Oil on panel
20 x 16 inches
Signed
david_palumbo_dp1009_mary_23_wm_small.jpg
David Palumbo
(Born 1982)
Mary #23
Oil on board
7 x 5 inches
Signed
david_palumbo_dp1016_sunshine_wm_small.jpg
David Palumbo
(Born 1982)
Sunshine
Oil on plexiglass
18 x 13 inches
Signed
david_palumbo_dp1014_kitten_small.jpg
David Palumbo
(Born 1982)
Kitten
Oil on canvas
6 x 12 inches
Signed
david_palumbo_dp1015_peek_wm_small.jpg
David Palumbo
(Born 1982)
Peek
Oil on board
12 x 13 1/2 inches
Signed
david_palumbo_dp1008_angela_2_wm_small.jpg
David Palumbo
(Born 1982)
Angela #2
Oil on board
7 x 5 inches
Signed
david_palumbo_dp1005_randi_13_wm_small.jpg
David Palumbo
(Born 1982)
Randie #13
Oil on panel
5 x 7 inches
Signed
david_palumbo_dp1006_angela_1_wm_small.jpg
David Palumbo
(Born 1982)
Angela #1
Oil on board
7 x 5 inches
Signed
david_palumbo_shoshi_4_small.jpg
David Palumbo
(Born 1982)
Shoshi #4
Oil on masonite
7 x 5 inches
Signed
david_palumbo_shoshi_8_small.jpg
David Palumbo
(Born 1982)
Shoshi #8
Oil on masonite
7 x 5 inches
Signed
david_palumbo_dp1000_jacqueline_2_wm_small.jpg
David Palumbo
(Born 1982)
Jacqueline #2
Oil on masonite
7 x 5 inches
Signed
david_palumbo_dp1001_2pm_wm_small.jpg
David Palumbo
(Born 1982)
2 pm
Oil on masonite
9 x 12 inches
Signed
david_palumbo_dp1002_autumn_morning_through_an_open_window_wm_small.jpg
David Palumbo
(Born 1982)
Autumn Morning Through an Open Window
Oil on panel
17 3/4 x 23 3/4 inches
Signed