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David Arsenault was born in upstate New York. He was first captivated by art in 1970 when he discovered a reproduction of Edward Hopper's painting Gas in a grade school library book. However, it wasn’t until the early ‘90s—more than twenty years later—that a professor in his graphic arts program reintroduced him to Hopper’s work and he felt decisively compelled to study painting. The early influence had it's effect on him to the degree that The Wall Street Journal once wrote that "Some of Mr. Arsenault’s paintings could pass for works by Edward Hopper.” He studied painting at the University at Albany (NY). Since he first began showing his work in 1993, David has had or participated in hundreds of local, regional, and national exhibitions: in New York City, Chicago, Vermont, Connecticut, throughout upstate New York, and of course in Massachusetts: Cape Ann, Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard, Williamstown, and more. Arsenault has also served as an exhibition juror, conducted painting demonstrations and critiques, and published articles including in The Artist's Magazine. He is also former co-director of the Schenectady New York Oakroom Artists, one of the oldest membership-by-invitation artist associations in the United States. His oil paintings, giclée prints, and reproductions are found in private and corporate collections across the United States and around the world. He and his wife Rev. Sue Koehler-Arsenault relocated to the seaside town of Rockport, Massachusetts in November 2014 with the goal of opening a gallery. On March 27, 2015 they opened The Art of David Arsenault on Bearskin Neck. David was juried into the renowned Rockport Art Association & Museum in early 2016. The Gallery moved to its current location at 8 Dock Square in Rockport on December 1, 2016. Housed in an historic 1740 building, the gallery is also a working studio where you can meet the artist and experience the beauty and peace of your favorite Cape Ann places in David's colorful, light-filled oil paintings and fine art (giclée) prints. You can follow David and the gallery on Facebook at his page, The Art of David Arsenault, and on Instagram. But a visit to Rockport, one of New England's most beautiful towns, is by far the best way to see for yourself. Come to visit!
I resist labels for myself and others, yet we tend to feel we understand things better if we can name them. My style has been called many things: Hyper-realism, American Realism, even Photorealism. As best I understand and experience it, photorealism typically tries to dispassionately capture in paint what's seen through a camera lens. And while I admit to using a camera as a tool to help me capture things I connect to and want to remember, that's my point of departure. The goal is to present something that looks and feels as real to me as the world we live in BUT is filtered through my feelings, imagination, and memories. If it's done well, it serves as an opening with the same purpose: a very personal connection for you, the viewer. The painting surfaces are very "flat," with unremarkable brush strokes barely visible. Why? Because I don't want it to necessarily feel like a painting either, at least not texturally. With the exception of commission pieces, I'm usually very picky about what I paint. If I don't have a strong response, I typically won't make a painting. And if you haven't recognized it, I'm exclusively a studio painter. Physiologically, emotionally, and spiritually, I don't enjoy the rush to completion of plein air painting. Perhaps it's because, like my mother before me, I perform every task in "first gear." But I really do enjoy the process of painting slowly--almost contemplatively. It's not still life, but rather "life, still." Quiet moments of solitude, presented for your consideration. It's an honor when someone makes the time to slow down and truly engage what they see and feel. I invite you to do so, now and anytime you visit.
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