The artist:

I was born in 1973 and brought up in Corpus Christi, TX. In 1992 I moved to Austin, TX
where I lived for 10 years before moving to San Francisco, CA. After 5 years in San Francisco,
and 6 months traveling the US and Europe, I have returned to Austin, TX where I now live and work.
 I am self taught, but have taken the odd class at junior college from time to time.

I do not title my work, but I invite you to do so. Through a happy accident of technology,
all the images listed are tied to the number assigned to them on this website.  
So from that point of view, those are now the titles.

If you have a painting of mine, and would like your name to appear on this site, please let me know.

If you would like to buy a painting or drawing, please write to

The price list is included in the about section, and corresponds with the numbers next to the images
in the gallery. I try to make my work affordable and I will be more than happy to work with you
regarding payment options.

Thank you.

David Sweeney


The art:

Most of this work is cajoled into being. The images are stitched together by drips, scribbling,
and the bleed of ink and paint. They are also, in part, scraps of paper, photographs that have 
been lost or sold to me by strangers, and other people's words and detritus.

Primarily, I draw. The images are informed by the sketchbooks I keep, and drawings,
some of which have been included in this site.


On the angel images:

These are based mostly off of a photograph I took in Rome, though some from Venice and Florence
sneak in there.  I also did a lot of drawings of birds wings that ended up in these as well.

On the grey images:

The first photographs included in these images came from a burned down house in the middle of nowhere.
They smelled like ashes, and smoke, and that's what the paintings ended up looking like. The words upon
these images are generally obtained from the shreds of paper incorporated into the composition, as are the
numbers.  The latest series included are small works on canvas, and all the material came from the scrap
book of one family.


On the blue images:

The phrases or words included in these paintings come from obscure memories, letters, poetry and essays
 I have read, as well as the lyrics of songs that happen to be playing when I reach for the stamps and ink.


On the destruction of photographs:

People have a relationship with photographs as artifacts - things common, yet precious; and to do violence
to them is to do violence to the person or object of the image. This is not true, of course. Photographs are
paper and chemicals.  Why are we motivated to record every image, object, word and thought?  When a photograph
with no known negative or record is mutilated or obscured, or destroyed, something that someone saw fit to record is lost.

This is a commentary on loss.


On the minimal images:

Similar in theme and composition to the grey images, but stripped down.  Experiments in boundaries and texture.

On the lacrymosa images:

The name was suggested to me by the Lacrimosa movement of the requiem mass. Also, the idea of a caryatid,
fallen under her stone, fallen under her grief. Lachrymal glands produce our tears.


On the butoh images:

Generally speaking, butoh is a type of Japanese modern dance. It involves playful and grotesque imagery performed
in white body makeup, and bizarre and elaborate costumes. The red ball, or hat, was one of the costumes the
dancers wore at the first performance I attended.

On the tulip images:

Tulips were the favorite flower of my uncle.


On the lament images:

A lament is a cry of sorrow and grief; it is regret; it is the expression of grief.  The use of stamps and stencils
make the images cogent and uniform; they are coded, accessible and empty. The process is thoughtless and
repetition strips the word of meaning. I am haunted by what has happened, and by what is yet to come.

They could say anything.