semantikon feature artist

Dec. 2007/ Jan. 2008
David Sparks


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david sparks, drexel, dayton, ohio, visual artist, bedpan art, photographer, musician, found art, folk art, paintings, sculpture
david sparks dec 2007 / jan 2008 art feature
picture of david sparks

Artist Bio:

I was born the son of a Dayton, Ohio policeman, factory worker, and later, Southern Baptist Preacher from Drexel, Ohio (a tiny coagulation of junkyards, chop shops and ghetto food shacks just outside of the west side of Dayton.

From age 5 to 12, we lived in Corbin, Ky., the inner-city of Louisville, Ky., the migrant farming Northwestern, Ohio town of Ottawa, and then a three year stint in Campton, Ky., in Wolfe County, a poverty stricken mountain town and area just south of Red River Gorge, one of the most beautiful places in America. My adolescence was spent in the Dayton, Ohio area.

The only art I was exposed to as a child outside of popular American culture of the 1970s was gospel soul, Appalachian and doo-wop music. After getting religion at age 28, my father took his family on a 10-year odyssey of life in poor mountain coal mining towns, migrant worker villages and inner-city environs to pursue the Southern Baptist ministry.

I grew up cast as an All-Star defensive lineman, and later, US Army Combat Engineer. It was a long journey to where I am today as an artist. I've been a newspaperman, early e-zine publisher, ad-man, singer, songwriter, painter, school bus driver and labor union leader, among other things.

My and fellow songwriter Brian Pelfrey's musical project Drexel has received kudos from around the globe for its musicianship, lyricism and unique sound, garnering fans as diverse as former Tom Waits sax man Ralph Carney, and modern American songwriting genius Chuck Cleaver, the influential and globally respected fluxblog, as well as a small but fanatically loyal following of fans from across the globe.

I live and work in Dayton, Ohio, where I am able to draw upon inspiration from America's post-industrial Urban/Appalachian ghetto wasteland on a daily basis.When I'm not creating art, I stay busy with my job as a Dayton Public Schools bus driver, where I proudly serves with honor as the Vice President of the local bus drivers union, #627, Ohio Association of Public School Employees Union, parenting two daughters, two dogs, two cats, a

Artist Statement:

I make art because I feel I have a lot to communicate and that with art, an individual can transmute the conscious into the concrete.

To me art is music is words is colors is images is sounds is feelings. Maybe that's why I've immersed myself different forms of communicative art. I have no formal art education, and the visual pieces I create are for the joy that is experienced by me in each piece - from the subject and characters of the piece, which come from a thought, an observation, or perhaps a conversation with another, to the implementation of the concept, to the nuts and bolts like painting, etc...

My bedpan art, which seems to garner the most attention of all the things I do, is just a perfect metaphor for life and my philosophy towards it. You can make anything beautiful with unleashed creativity and love, even a

All of the pieces that I paint are from some second hand source.There are lots of boards in piles of garbage all around the city of Dayton as the process of post-industrialism continues unabated in my city, almost four decades strong. I can always find something to paint on around here, and plus, Dayton has a reputation for being a giant Midwestern forgotten industrial slum, and to be honest, I feel my city, and cities everywhere, need a beauty injection.

A hypodermic full of love, if you will.

Works: Updated January 6.2008[ January Update to include the music of "Drexel", photograph review from Dave's Phptpblog] .
East end girls looking for work
near Keowee and First Street.
East end man walks his weapon, er pit bull, down the street while terrified children walk home from school.
East end teen rides his custom low-rider bicycle on East Fourth Street.
dave sparks photos
dave sparks photos
Most retarded pallette stacking accident waiting to happen sighting of the day. Keowee Ave.
Crackhead Phil at BP
News crews where 13 year old was rape at knifepoint behind abandoned house
dave sparks photos
dave sparks photos
Drexel "Big John's House" From the Album River of Chowder
Drexel "Practicing Preachers" From the Album River of Chowder
Drexel "Standing in the Shadow of the Valley of the Dollar Tree" from the album Sexual Pancakes
Listen to Drexel
Listen  to Drexel
Listen to Drexel
Bedpan Painting: Wesley Willis
Street Cred
david sparks: binronald
david sparks: wesley willis bedpan painting
david sparks: street cred
The Dale Earnhardt Tree of Life
Bedpan Painting: David Koresh
david sparks: dale ernhardt
david sparks: britney
david sparks: david koresh bedpan painting
Ale-8 - Briar Breast Milk
Sharp dressed cheeseburger
Pope John Paul II - Fullback for the Lord
david sparks: ale 8
david sparks: sharp dressed cheeseburger
david sparks: pope john paul II fullback for the lord
Actual quote heard in Georgetown, Ky. 1987
Bedpan Painting: Jim Jones
the d8n ambassador
david sparks: actual quote
david sparks: jim jones bedpan painting
david sparks: d8n ambassador

Download Exclusive Broadside Posters

only from Three fools Press/
David Sparks  Broadside Poster
13.5 x 8
(269 KB PDF)
Drexel, Ohio Poster
13.5 x 8
(392 KB PDF)