David Kessler

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ARTIST STATEMENT

"As a painter, it is important for me to address the concerns of painting—'what has been done and what can I add to this?'

When I was a kid I was amazing at drawing anything I saw and making objects out of cardboard and tape (like 'phasers' and 'communicators' from Star Trek!). These two talents lead me to the very practical career of architecture, rather than art.

 

However, a month before my 21st birthday my life turned upside down. I severely injured my dominant hand in a wood shop accident. At this lowest point in my life, I didn't know if I would ever be able to hold a pencil again and thought my career as an architect was over before it began. With many months of physical therapy I was able to regain about 70% use of my hand. This event made me realize that if I could make it through that, I could do anything.

Years later I decided I wanted to learn to paint as a counterpoint to my daily work as an architect. I struggled for 10 years trying to learn on my own and in local classes, but nothing was working. I was ready to give up - as in dump all my supplies in the trash - but then the Universe intervened. A friend was kind enough to lead me to professional instruction in a workshop.

 

Those 3 days completely changed my life. It was as if a light had been turned on and I could finally see how to paint - a true epiphany. Some 5 years later I was asked to teach a local watercolor painting class and I was terrified - but I did it, and I loved it. For the first time in my life, I felt as though I had found my purpose. It took me 10 more years to fulfill my purpose, leave the 9-5 grind and start teaching painting workshops nationally.

 

David Kessler states his work on aluminum as an attempt to use the qualities of refracted light, and to have these qualities interact with the painting.

 

The completed image is produced both by refracted light, created by the use of various wire brushes; and paint, airbrushed in transparent layers."

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