David's Art Bio
"Art really has its source in the transcendent, the unmanifest field of pure consciousness, which is the non-changing, immortal field of all possibilities. That supreme intelligence, complete in itself, designs the activity and destiny of all creation."
ART BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH
My first taste of the transcendent, which Maharishi identifies as the source of art, happened at about the age of 8 while falling asleep. As my thoughts were settling down, my mind suddenly expanded into infinite unbounded awareness. There were no thoughts, just a sea of bliss consciousness. It was the most nourishing, fulfilling feeling. Although I had never experienced it before, it felt completely right and somehow familiar. This, I found out much later, was an experience of transcendental consciousness, which has been recorded in all cultures of the world in all generations.
I wanted more, and for years afterward I tried to make it happen again, but trying only seemed to be counterproductive. I could never make it happen again. After a while, I seemed to have forgotten about it. It was not God as I understood it. There was no framework for it in the worldview that I grew up in, so I never talked to anyone about it. But in retrospect, I think some deep memory of it has guided my life, and that I had been very very fortunate.
I came from a wonderful family who highly valued education, and they supported me going to Columbia University, where I was exposed to some of the greatest minds of civilization and of the present generation. Among the things I explored was Oriental Humanities, where we read the great literature of the East. There I found many allusions to transcendental experiences, but it was all philosophical, not experiential. We read some of the classics of Buddhism and Taoism, for example, but no practical information was offered on how to experience it oneself.
What I did find at Columbia was that art gave me experiences in the direction of the transcendent. Sometimes while drawing, painting, and sculpting, I would get into a Flow, or Peak Experience, in which everything seemed cosmic, perfect, happening by itself, with me the witness only observing my best work being created effortlessly and spontaneously by itself in waves if bliss. So art was my technology of consciousness, until I came across Maharishi's Transcendental Meditation technique in 1970 at the age of 29.
With TM I found that everything in my life began to change for the better right away. I came more into harmony with my family, friends, and students. Everything seemed to be going in a better way, and my comprehension of the deeper meaning of things increased dramatically. I had more experiences of transcending, and more and more frequently felt in that blissful state of spontaneous right action. In my art I began act more immediately on an inspiration rather than putting it off until later after I had finished other projects. I was more flexible. I was mainly doing steel sculpture at the time, and I began to do more ambitious projects, such as a full sized female figure and a seven foot high response to the horrors of Viet Nam.
However, I clearly saw that my dharma was to do research on TM, not art, and I have published over 100 papers on it. That has been my main path.
These days I am having a little more time for painting and I continue knocking on the door of the infinite through the window of art.
Columbia College, 1959-1963. Drawing, painting, sculpture, history of the movies, made movies, the Museum of Modern Art, the Met, the Guggenheim.
University of Maryland, 1963-1968. Print making and glass blowing sculpting, painting.
Corcoran Gallery, Washington D.C., 1967. Painting.
Columbia University, New York, 1962. Group show.
Gallery Two-Twenty-Two, El Paso, Texas, 1969. One man show.
The Gallery, Fairfield, Iowa, 1996. Group show.
Fleming Fine Art Gallery, Blowing Rock, North Carolina. Represented in the gallery.
Studio 210, Seaside, Florida, 1999-2000. Represented in the gallery.
Collaborations, Seagrove Beach, Florida, 2001. Represented in the gallery.