Magazine article Art Business News

The Perfect Touch: The Power of Artist David Schluss' Joyful Imagery Lies Solely in His Capable and Loving Hands

Magazine article Art Business News

The Perfect Touch: The Power of Artist David Schluss' Joyful Imagery Lies Solely in His Capable and Loving Hands

Article excerpt

The art of David Schluss is a wonderful dichotomy of sophistication and whimsy, abstraction and form. The artist's avant-garde painting approach without brush or palette knife brings an exquisite and unpredictable culmination of color, texture and dimension.

"Painting with my fingers allows me to feel the canvas and literally sculpt it with my hands," Schluss says. "Every artist must find his own unique, identifiable style, and this is mine."

Schluss' quest for artistic independence began when he was a young boy living in Jaffa, a historical seaport in central Israel. Mesmerized by the antique architecture, vibrant street dancers and mystical folklore, Schluss created artwork to express the life he was living. As a young boy in primary school, he was already creating abstract imagery and 3-D forms with the bright colors that inspired him.

Despite a lack of support from his parents, Schluss continued to hone his craft in whatever way possible. During his three-year service in the Israeli army, Schluss painted on tanks and canopies to stay close to his art form and to provide an emotional outlet for the soldiers.

Once his service was complete, Schluss moved to Montreal, Canada, with his family to pursue a formal fine-art education. He was accepted into the prestigious Ecole des Beaux-Arts where he studied color, form and technique. Schluss tried to stick within the confines of the school's teachings by painting with brushes, but it simply did not provide the type of artistic satisfaction he was seeking.

A mistake on an oil painting he was creating, which he smeared with a piece of cloth, was the turning point in Schluss' groundbreaking technique. The voluptuous, abstracted female figure that resulted prompted Schluss to begin painting with his hands for a dynamic and unmistakable look that could not be matched.

"Everyone would be working on easels, and the teacher would go around and critique," Schluss recalls. "He would always come to me and say, 'I don't understand what you are doing.' But I would do it anyway. I was always dreaming to do something different. My imagination was stronger than anything I was being told to do."

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Schluss worked at a summer camp teaching kids to paint and began giving private lessons to encourage young artists to open themselves up to alternative methods of painting. But his need to continue exploring his own artistic skills prevailed, so he packed his bags and took a trip to Paris to study and learn what other artists of the world were doing.

Schluss' solo show in Montreal gave him the exposure and recognition he needed to take his career to the next level. The artist lived and worked in Canada for 15 years before relocating to the warmer climate of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., where he lives today.

With the move came a significant change in his art. "In Canada, I painted with subtle, more muted colors, but in bright and sunny Florida, my colors became brighter and more alive because I was more alive," Schluss explains.

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Progression in Schluss' subject matter came, too. The artist moved from his original celebratory, dance-inspired works to depicting female silhouettes and ladies in contemplation, which were inspired by the first painting he created of his wife, Renata, to whom he has been married for eight years. …

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