David Fox, a multi-talented and versatile artist, has been living in the United States since 1981. Born in Wimbledon, England, he recalls in an interview with Arts Help how he grew up “living with so much creativity in the air and literally at my doorstep.” It seems Fox was destined for a life in the arts.  

As a rebellious high school drop-out, he studied in Wimbledon at the urging of his mother. He later enrolled at the prestigious St. Martin’s, where he explored and experimented with all types of mediums. “I never thought one was superior to the other. I’ve tried all mediums, except fresco. Encaustic (hot wax) is my favorite.”

His U.S. journey began with living and exhibiting in the East Village section of Manhattan (‘81- ’89). From there, he became a Teaching Assistant for a semester (in ‘91) at MICA: Maryland Institute College of Art, before returning to New York in Fall of 1991. When he’s not producing paintings and other works of visual arts, David is writing a screenplay, poetry or lyrics to a new song he’s recording. He describes his professional life as, “quite hectic, at times.”

A typical workday begins with poetic inspiration, while still in bed. While coffee is percolating, a melody comes to mind. Then, he runs off to his recording studio, before he forgets the lyrics.

Depending on what he’s focused on, he may drop painting for a couple of weeks and concentrate on his music, or multi-task on more than one project at a time.

Fox also modeled for a semester in graduate school. He did an extensive study in self-portraiture from 2007 to 2009. Not always having the means to hire a live model, David would pose for himself. He explains: “It’s not always a psychological journey. Any psychological depth is a by-product. I try to paint a truthful, honest image… Mainly, just heads.” At one point, he grinded his own pigments. Drawing, however, is his favourite, as he describes the practice as the foundation of everything.

When his students ask for his advice on making a living in the arts, he cautions them about this rather “precarious” life with ”no guarantees.” If a young art student is seeking security, it may not be the best career path for them.

In accordance with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal on Reduced Inequalities, Fox wrote and performed a song in 2020: I Can’t Breathe. The song was inspired by the Black Lives Matter Movement’s protests centered on George Floyd’s death at the hands of a White police officer.

Also, in a 2006 exhibit: Images of War, Fox focuses on the treatment and torture of Iraqi soldiers. This particular exhibit was followed up with an article in Harper’s magazine, which included five of Fox’s large scale drawings. Being a champion of human rights, the common thread in his drawings was abuse of power and torture.

Always self-motivated in character, David Fox explains, “I do what I do, because I must.”

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