Subject: Figures and Portraits
Style: Ethereal Realism
Inspirations: John Singer Sergeant, István Sándorfi, Robert McGinnis, James Abbott McNeill Whistler
Education: BA in architecture and fine art from Rice University
Biography: Born in Boston, Dave Seeley cannot recall a period in his life where he was not making art. He went to college in Houston and then lived in Los Angeles, where he practiced architecture. He returned to Boston and practiced for a dozen more years before winning a five-month fellowship to travel around the world. His journey gave him the opportunity to see and draw amazing artworks he’d studied and so many more he was unfamiliar with, and they rocked his world. With a refreshed perspective, Dave decided to return to visual art and slowly built a commercial career. He considers himself very lucky to have worked with Lucasfilm, Sony, Marvel, Microsoft, Hasbro, Fox, Disney, and the top book publishers and advertising agencies. He taught at Rice University, The Art Institute of Boston, and had several solo and group shows of his artwork, culminating in the publication of his monograph The Art of Dave Seeley in 2016. Concurrently he’s been selected for the annual juried Main Show of the IX Imaginative Realism art show for the past 14 years. Over that span, Dave’s focus has shifted from commercial to personal figure works. He brings to that pursuit a fluency in the language of image making, with accents of pop culture, classicism, western mythology, the grimmest of fairy tales, and when he’s lucky, the ethereal.
Seeley’s subjects are inspired by glimpses of perfection in life, and his paintings are the products of a desire to realize those glimpses in an inherently imperfect way as works of art. He strives for moments when the light aligns for a split second and all pain, toil, wants, worries, and lust, are forgotten in a flash of transcendent beauty. These glimpses imprint his memories but remain motile as they fade and morph and blur with time…but still define how he felt in his memories. And that is indelible, even decades later. That’s what fuels his explorations for imagery, and the results of that search are idealized, abstracted, and stylized in the beautiful abstraction of oil paint to become individual iconic objects that make up the body of his work.