David Seiler, the Bay Warrior
David Seiler’s work rings with talent, energy and discipline. Across media, David’s rich figurative work demands the viewer accept his bombastic take on sex, spirituality and classicism. You may have read about David doing back flips in the galleries where he shows his work (the guy teaches gymnastics). Those days are gone for now as David broke he clavicle late last year. Don’t worry, It didn’t slow him down. He is still a bouncing ball of lightning and creative inertia.
David recently opened the Victorian Rat Gallery on Manila in North Oakland and will be showing some large-scale, animal drawing in A SIMPLE BESTIARY at the Swee(t)Art Drawing Gallery, opening July 10th.
Obi: You and I have been talking about your art since you showed at Premium as part of Art Quest 2 last year. I have always been a huge fan of your work. I know you are totally inspired by old catholic Iconography. I know you are kinda fearless in your imagery, How do you think your upbringing has influenced your work?
David: I was brought up by a Catholic Mexican mother and hippy father with a cynical sister who always supported and accepted things I created. They definitely were the sunshine in my art garden. I have always admired catholic art and design of colonial and post-colonial Mexico. I find it sexy, gaudy, graphic and provocative. My relative’s homes in Mexico are filled with Guadeloupe, baby Jesus and popes.
Obi: You just opened Victorian Rat Gallery in your garage. How did that idea come about and what are your plans with it?
David: I’m just trying to inspire more people to show their art. Brianna, my girlfriend, is the one who pushed me and made it happen. She’s bossy. I have some amazing artists lined up that will exhibit sculpture, neon art, photography, and graphic design. All solo shows. It’s a small, intimate space and is a sweet spot to talk, look at stuff, have a beer or whatever.
Obi: You have this particular eye motif. This totem-like feature that repeats throughout your prolific portfolio and kinda cements the David Seiler brand.. What is the story with how this style came about?
David: It’s my Bay Warrior totem. Northwest coast Native American mixed with some Aztec and Mayan, African, and Catholic art. I have all these identities constantly invading my mind. Once back in art school, a professor hosted a trip to Alaska to carve with the Tlingit of Alaska. I couldn’t go. It ate me up. A lot of crazy things were going on in my life. I made my Bay warrior to help, guide and protect me. I think he’s doing a great job.
Victorian Rat Gallery is located on Manila Ave, in North Oakland. For address and inquiries contact David or Brianna via email at email@example.com