David Dalla Venezia

Born in Cannes, France on April 10, 1965.

When he was a child the charm and power of images inspired DDV to become a painter.

David is the son of an artist. His father was trained in Venetian studios under a lengthy apprenticeship begun at the age of 11 and is a skilled wood craftsman, frame maker, gilder, art restorer and, in his private capacity, is a multi-talented artist. In 1958, he moved to Cannes and worked for artists then living on the French Riviera (Picasso, Ozenfant, Sutherland and Rezvani among many others), collectors (Sir Douglas Cooper and Ruggerini) and galleries (Galerie Sapone, Nice, Galerie Maeght, St. Paul de Vence). In 1973 he returned to Venice and has lived and worked here ever since.

His two sisters are also active in the art world. Diana is a restorer of old paintings, while Marina is a painter and decorator who is also married to the Chilean painter and sculptor José Garcia Chibbaro.

Growing up in Cannes and Venice in a family and environment that abounded with stimuli and models of craftsmanship and art, DDV obtained the manual skill and experience required for his craft (praxis) and gained that sense of the metaphysical which lies at the core of creating art (poiesis).

He graduated from liceo classico (secondary school focusing on humanities), and went on to study art and philosophy at the University of Venice.

The world and popular culture of the 20th century (illustrated stories, comic books, animated cartoons and movies), classical mythology and its psychoanalytical elaborations (Freud and Jung), Greek and modern philosophy (Schopenhauer and Nietzsche above all) and contemporary philosophy (Severino) have further informed Dalla Venezia’s world view and pictorial imagination.

Leading influences in his early youth were those of Surrealism (Dalì and Magritte) and Metaphysics (De Chirico and Savinio).

In the 1980s, at the height of a period of official abandonment and disparagement of figurative art, a crucial part in his development was played by his exposure to the catalog for the exhibition on “Les Realismes: 1919-1939”, as curated by Jean Clair in 1980 at the Pompidou Center in Paris. The sum total of images, texts and documents on the return to representational painting between the two world wars brought DDV to an understanding that it was possible, and indeed necessary, to carry on and borrow from the great classic paintings in connection with the contemporary art world.

In 1987, inspired by the history of public art (the large outdoor decorations on ancient and modern buildings, the mural and social painting movements in Italy and Mexico in the early 20th century, up until the New York and international graffiti movement in the 1980s), he decided to put theory into practice. In collaboration with the Japanese artist Hiroshi Daikoku, he began to paint large compositions on the temporary wooden structures used to enclose sites where renovation work is carried out on the streets of Venice. The success of these paintings was hinged upon the most immediate, spontaneous but responsible, communication with the man in the street. Indeed, they were received with wide critical and public acclaim. The project lasted until 1989 with the eventual completion of 12 paintings  (please see David & Hiroshi).

In 1989 his first personal exhibition took place at the Bac Art Studio Gallery in Venice.
From 1990 to 1992 he lived and worked in Nice, where he took part in group exhibitions in the region (23rd Cagnes-sur-Mer International Painting Festival and the 4th International Contemporary Art Biennial, where he won first prize for painting).

In 1992, on the occasion of his participation in the “Corale” exhibition, as curated by Andrea Pagnes at the Fondazione Bevilacqua-La Masa, he moved back to Venice and has lived and worked here since that time.

In the 1990s, as he continued to paint and exhibit in Italy and abroad, he developed his style and perfected his painting technique while always seeking a comparison with contemporary art.

With the beginning of the 21st century and thanks to the spread of information and easy access to it brought about by the Internet, the will to carry on a widespread culture of painting has been solidified. There is the uninterrupted continuation of a long and ancient path, which patently contradicts the universal claim of the hegemonic and exclusive monopoly officially called and commonly known as Contemporary Art.

In 2005 he took part in Norway’s Kitsch Annual, which is headed by the well-known Norwegian painter Odd Nerdrum.

DDV has continually done etchings (a technique to which he was introduced in 1979 at the International School of Graphics in Venice) which numerous prints have been made from (as put out by Bottega del Tintoretto and Bac Art Studio in Venice) and which are included in the collection Gabinetto delle Stampe Antiche e Moderne di Bagnacavallo.

Currently, he fosters relationships with his fellow painters not only with his painting but also through the organization of exhibitions in the hope of bringing about a re-evaluation of the segment of today’s art world that has thus far been penalized: figurative painting.