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Who We Are

Fiercely Curious is an online art & design collective based in Brooklyn.

We believe in connecting directly with the artists and designers.

David Silver

About David Silver
David was born in Washington DC, in high-school he failed art twice.

He lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. Download his full CV here.
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In conversation with David Silver

Erin: What are you curious about?

David: Everything.

Erin: What’s your favorite object in your studio space that you can’t live without?

David: Pad of paper & pencils
Erin: Tell us about your fascination with American flags.

David: The flags come directly from observation. In the immediate aftermath of 9/11 newspapers printed flags for people to cut out and hang in their windows - there were quickly all sorts of decals and stickers available to do the same. Many remained as they slowly began to fade, rot, and decay over time. For the past few years I’ve been collecting examples as I come across them, either online or from various storefronts, windows, car bumpers, trucks, etc. I’ve always found them to be visually intriguing and have painted several of them.

Erin: When we met, you mentioned Philip Guston as an inspiration. Mind sharing a quote of his with us?

David: "..when I see people making ‘abstract’ painting, I think it’s just a dialogue and a dialogue isn’t enough, that is to say, there is you painting and this canvas. I think there has to be a third thing; it has to be a trialogue. Whether that third thing – it must be, to reverberate and make trouble, you have to have trouble and contradictions, it has to become complex because life is complex, emotions are complex, – whether that third element is a still life of something, or an idea or a concept, in each case it has to be a trialogue and above all has to involve you… …The real thing that matters is how involved you are in that."

Erin: What’s your scariest experience?

David: Public speaking

Erin: Of all the books you collect, which ones can't you live without?

David: My sketchbook
Erin: What is it about pop culture that intrigues you and how do you stay on top of it today?

David: It's not so much about intrigue as much as it's trying to come to terms with the near constant barrage we undergo on a daily basis. Short of removing oneself from contemporary society altogether can one really not be affected by pop culture? It has become part of the air we breathe. I suppose trying to figure out what it means when we place a greater importance on Jennifer Lawrence's hair over something like Syria is what I find most intriguing.

Erin: What motivated you to use pencil for the majority of your work?

David: The use of graphite came out of necessity. How does one continue to make art when you have limited amounts of space and funds available to produce it? The “starving artist” happens because art supplies can be so astronomically expensive and your forced to choose between a tube of cadmium paint or eating. It doesn’t get more basic than pencil on paper.

Erin: What’s your strongest memory from your childhood? Did you ever try to depict it in your work?

David: My memories are all either abstract or entirely visual, the texture of my mother's hair, the pattern of a chair in the basement, a fern hanging in the living room, the specific shade of yellow of the forsythias in the yard... I can't say I ever depicted any of this, but my sense of perception still functions along those lines.

Erin: How did you end up in New York City?

David: The abridged version begins with me doing nothing for about five years. Well that’s not entirely true. Before that I had graduated high school (barely) in no condition to move on to college. So for those five or so years post high school I worked a series of odd jobs but for the most part I was content sitting alone in my room wearing black and listening to songs about death and being sad. One of the jobs I ended up with was landscaping. The thing you need to understand about landscaping is that where I was at the time there were essentially two types of people who were landscapers – people who didn’t know what to do with their lives (I fell into that category) and ex hippie/1970’s burnouts (I worked with the later). This led to a series of events that could be described as accidents or from my perspective, near death experiences. It was either having a tree limb cut down on me or a trailer backed into my shin when I decided it might be time to go back to school. I enrolled in community college that fall and it’s there where I realized that I wasn’t completely useless. Through some exceptional professors and dumb luck I managed to discover, apply, and get accepted to The Cooper Union School of Art (RIP) and I’ve been here ever since. The irony of course is that I was more employable before I went to art school but I guess that’s another story.

Erin: What currently inspires you— what are you reading, listening to or looking at that drives your work or just keeps your ADD in check?

David: It's consistently changing, but right now, the cinematography of Nebraska, Angel Olsen's voice, Dave Van Ronk's autobiography, Mike Kelley and the discarded Christmas trees of Brooklyn.

Erin: What’s your favorite bar in Brooklyn?

David: I don't drink, but as a fan of design, Torst in Greenpoint.
David's workspace in Park Slope, Brooklyn