Saturday, March 28, 2015

“The Art of David Palumbo” Exhibit at University of the Arts, Philadelphia



David Palumbo

Apart from whatever I can bring with me to conventions (and those seem fewer and fewer each year for me), it is a rare moment for me to have a showing of my illustration work.  For that reason, I’m very proud and excited about my exhibition just installed at the Richard C. von Hess Gallery at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia.  This has been in the works for awhile now and the result is a collection of many of my favorite paintings and preliminary roughs from recent years.

I’ve written in the past about finding one's vision as an artist and, for me, this show is something of a marker in the progress that I feel I’ve personally made.  My biggest step to date came just over three years ago when I made a commitment to embrace the physical nature of my medium and to direct my emphasis towards the emotional and atmospheric side of my images whenever possible.  I wanted to loosen my grip on what I had imagined was expected of a fantasy illustrator (both in content and in technique) and instead place my focus on what I personally found most engaging.  My success in doing that has varied of course, but I gradually am able to see the path a bit clearer with every new piece.

Assembling this exhibit was an interesting review along those lines.  I always feel the most difficult artist to classify is one’s self.  We know more or less what to expect from our heroes, idols, and peers.  Whether through things like genre, palette, technique, and even style of story telling, the identities of other artists always seem so apparent while our own can feel so elusive.  My theory has long been that this is because we assess other artists on the work they have done, which is finite, but we assess ourselves on the work we aim to do and the many potential places which that may lead.  It is a bit strange to fill a room with the places I‘ve been in order to say something about where I am trying to go, but I all in all I feel pretty good about it.


Photo by Ralph Giguere

For anyone in the Philadelphia area who wants to see the show, it runs from now until May 17th with a presentation this coming Thursday on some of the above themes of progression and voice followed by the opening reception.  I hope anyone interested is able to stop in!  

Public Presentation: Thursday, April 2, 2015, 1- 2:30 p.m., CBS Auditorium
Reception: Thursday, April 2, 2015, 3 - 4 p.m., von Hess Illustration Gallery


Anderson Hall
333 S Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA 19107
United States










16 comments:

  1. Amazing show David. It's really exciting to see how your style has evolved- love the brushwork!

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  2. What a fantastic post to wake up to. I am such a crazy fan already, but the range and volume and not to mention quality of this work is just incredible. Your handpainted book covers are literally the best thing i have seen all year. Best of luck with the show and congratulations.

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    1. Thanks Greg! All those things right back at you! It's seeing the incredible work that you and so many others are doing that keeps me pushing myself forward :)

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  3. Just killer stuff. You've really pushed yourself out of the crowd these past few years, and your nominated Aliens cover was one of the best images I've seen in years. Always look forward to new stuff from you.

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    1. thanks so much! like I said above, just trying to keep up with everyone :)

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  4. I can't stop looking at the face lit by the cross. The execution of the double light source in this piece is like nothing I've seen before.

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    1. thanks, one of my favorites as well!

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  5. Dammit. Wish I lived in PA. "Taken" is one of my favorites. Blood curdling. Beautiful art Mr. Palumbo

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  6. Wish I could be there Dave. Good luck.

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  8. This show could be one of the best things to happen to the students of the Illustration and other visual arts degree programs. Speaking as an Alum., this is a big deal for UARTS and I hope they sincerely recognize and appreciate the opportunity.

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    1. Thanks! The lecture went well and the curator was really pleased, so I hope the students are digging it. I had a chance to see some senior portfolios and there is some real talent in their current crop of graduates

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  9. Dave,

    I know I commented earlier but what great exhibit! Of particular note and interest are the value studies you chose to include in the show. They were an educational tour-de-force and I am not being hyperbolic. Using that mid-high chroma mid-value red as a ground really works very well and compliments your already excellent execution. If you haven't already, would care to comment on your preference for using that color as a wash and what you feel it adds? I have my own opinions but they are relatively irrelevant and I am sure followers of Muddy Colors would much rather hear from you anyways.

    Everything on display was the highest quality and your surfaces are flawless. I went with a student of mine and she commented on how every image was engrossing and that the narrative was instantly recognizable even if the she was unaware of the specific story or stories your illustrations were referencing.

    Great job!

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