Personal Information & bio
Born June 14, 1956
in Long Beach California
My collage work is heavily influenced by life’s objects – signs, buildings, music, advertisements and nostalgia. Sometimes my art begins on the side of the road where I’ve found an interesting object. I search garage sales, junk yards and antique swap meets for items I can work into a painted collage construction. I use photos I’ve taken, acrylic paint, wood, metal, silkscreened images and found objects to weave a story with my art.
I want people to draw their own conclusions when looking at my work. I want them to look and look again because there is always something else to see. When I’m not working on collages, I paint. My acrylic paintings on canvas and wood are spontaneous commentaries of Pop Culture, i.e., coffee cups, television, hearts, and the spaces we live in. They are created with a fun & whimsical feel because I tend to view life in that way.
Dave Newman is a self-taught artist living in Prescott, Arizona. Originally from Southern California, Dave moved to Arizona in 1997 with his wife, Donna. He creates mixed media collage constructions using his original photographs, found objects and vintage magazine articles and advertisements. In making these ‘time capsules", Dave focuses on historic locations, recycles objects and brings a sense of nostalgia to his work.
One of the unique aspects of Dave’s collage work is his ability to do commissions for clients who want specific themes or personal items incorporated into a piece of art. He has also created the original artwork for the PF Chang’s Rock ‘n Roll Arizona Marathon since it’s inaugural race in 2004. Fender Guitar’s Custom Shop works closely with Dave on numerous guitar sets and has featured several of these in their calendars and catalogs.
Don’t miss seeing Dave’s largest mixed media piece (6.5 ft. x 19.5 ft.) at the Palace Bar and Restaurant on Whiskey Row, in Prescott, AZ
Some of Dave’s collectors include, Phoenix Home and Garden Idea House, Fender Guitar Museum in Germany, Z Tejas Grill, San Antonio, TX, Warner Brothers Records, High West Distillery Park City, UT and Ajo Al’s Restaurants in Phoenix & Scottsdale.
More about Dave
I learned the lesson, to my best advantage, that environment is truthfully essential to the formative years of childhood. I was born in 1956, in Long Beach, California and soon moved to Anaheim about a mile from Disneyland, my family having moved there only a year after its opening. What a better environment for a creative kid than a place like the “Happiest Place on Earth?” To compound this colorful and formative childhood experience, I went to garage sales. A lot. I loved junk and I love junk today, just like Robert Rauschenberg loved junk, and so did Jasper Johns.
Anaheim was a different place back then. There was actually room to breathe. I had a fascination for old motel signs, and was mesmerized by sign graphics and sign illustration that made the area distinctive in those years. I liked to wander freely, so I rode my bicycle everywhere, and had my own go-kart, and when I got old enough, I started racing motorcycles. The open highway was calling my name. As a kid we did not do a lot of traveling, maybe a few road trips around California, but I had a bad case of wanderlust, and as I matured, I wanted to get out and hit the road. But that would have to wait.
My taste in cars developed as I developed, and I became interested in drag racing, more motorcycles, and in 1971 I bought my first car, a 1963 Ford Falcon. I was only 15 and paid $35.00. I was buying and fixing old junkers to resell. I built custom show trucks and entered them in custom car shows… I had two trucks on the cover of Truckin’ Magazine & Hot Rods Trucks & Vans by the age of 21, when what I really wanted was to be “out there.” So much of who I would become as an artist, all of it really, is a product of these early impressionable years, all that I needed for the recipe to become the artist I am today I had acquired… but that would have to wait.
Anaheim proved fortuitous to me in many ways, and one of the most significant did not happen until 1978. While working at the Sheraton Anaheim Hotel, I met my better half, Donna, and married her in 1980. She is my manager, my cheerleader, my coach, my business partner, and my best friend. We began a screen-printing enterprise in our Anaheim garage in 1979, printing and selling t-shirts and signs, the first sign of the development of the artist in me. Over eleven years we had several business locations and ran a successful operation.
In 1990 we sold the business for a more lucrative venture called Killer Buttonz, a costume jewelry business started by Donna, which lasted until 1994, having 18 employees. During Donna’s focus on the jewelry manufacture, I was at liberty to explore what I had not given time and space for, and this was the contemplation of art. But, as life will usually sort itself out with determined living, the time and space was right, as I was 32 years of age, and finally ready, when I decided I wanted to become an artist. The wait was over.
Then began an exciting time in our lives. I started a concerted study of art and artists, especially those of the 60’s. I was particularly attracted to the Pop Art of Andy Warhol, as much as I had been drawn to the motel and advertisement sign graphics in my early days in Anaheim. It was the iconic element and the boldness of the imagery that attracted me most, and being a junker, I love a good tin can or a glass bottle, and if I find a black velvet Elvis or Marilyn… even better. I had a deep appreciation for the level of art that Rauschenberg was making out of what I found at garage sales. It was all a matter of composition and visual context. Johns’ were truly the iconic of the icons. We began to visit museums, so I could get a better grasp at the aesthetics and connect with the work, and my schooling had begun. My first attempt at a work of fine art came out of a SX70 Polaroid camera, images manipulated and distorted, and all signs pointed to yes. We went to Europe in 1993. This was hugely inspirational for both of us, so much that we went back in 2000, and in 2005.
Although I am self taught, and barely made it through high school, in a day when dyslexia was thought to be a contagious disease, so it seemed as misunderstood as I was, but none of that matters in a life-time grounded in formative preparatory experience, all leading to one direction and one thing, and that is the present. Warhol had such an impact on my art that when he died in 1987, we flew to New York City to attend a three day auction at Sotheby’s we had become Warhol junkers. Warhol would have been proud.
We had begun doing outdoor juried art shows in 1995, primarily throughout the west. Our first was in Prescott, AZ prior to moving there in 1997. I was 42. Even though I love it out there, and feel deeply connected to the open highway and the wide western spaces… and the junk that can be found along the way… we opened the Newman Gallery in Prescott to help us get off the road, and concentrate on our own gallery venture, and consider other venues for my work.