Dave Kinsey (born 1971, Pittsburgh, PA) is an American contemporary artist and designer who lives and works in Los Angeles, California. He's known for his emotionally charged paintings and murals, as well as high-visibility logos and advertising campaigns, including the ubiquitous DC Shoes logo, The Black-Eyed Peas Elephunk album icon, N.E.R.D. "brain", Epitaph Records identity and, most recently, his work with the international Absolut Blank campaign. He was named one of the 100 most influential artists of the decade in 2012 by Complex magazine. In October, 2011, he joined the esteemed Kenwood Vineyards Artist Series as their 33rd annual artist. The series has included Joan Miró, Pablo Picasso, Paul Klee, and Alexander Calder among others. On the design side, Kinsey owned the design studio and brand BLK/MRKT with partner Jana DesForges, once known for its guerilla marketing strategies and the development of high-impact visual marketing campaigns. A founding member in 1997 with Shepard Fairey and Phillip DeWolff, he later became sole owner in 2003 and co-owner in 2004. BLK/MRKT Gallery (later Kinsey/DesForges) was introduced in Los Angeles in 2001, moving in 2003 to the Culver City Art District, and closing in late 2010.
Work and Career
In 1994, after receiving his arts education at the Art Institute of Atlanta (1991–1993, illustration/design) and the Art Institute of Pittsburgh (1989–1990, fine art/design), Kinsey moved to California to work for the popular brands DC Shoes, Droors, Dub and Blunt snowboard magazine. Soon after, he formed the short-lived design studio First Bureau of Imaging (FBI) with pro-skateboarder and artist Andy Howell, Shepard Fairey and Phillip DeWolff. Unable to resolve conflicts in the partnership, Kinsey left FBI to form BLK/MRKT with Fairey and DeWolff following shortly thereafter.
After continued success in the graphic design field, Kinsey found himself drawn to painting, and decided to pursue it. He has participated in group shows around the world as well as exhibited in a solo capacity. In many instances he's been able to blend his design and fine art into specific projects, for instance, the Absolut Blank campaign and a recent mural at The Standard Hotel in downtown Los Angeles.
- 1999 ARO.SPACE Gallery, Seattle WA, "New Works"
- 2000 381G Gallery, San Francisco, CA, "New Works"
- 2001 Magda Danysz Gallery, Paris, France, "Message From The Soul"
- 2003 Basil Hayward Gallery, Portland, OR, "New Works"
- 2003 BLK/MRKT Gallery, Los Angeles, CA "80% Post-Consumer Grade"
- 2005 Boon Gallery, Salem, MA, "Environmentalistic I"
- 2006 ALICE Gallery, Brussels, Belgium, "Environmentalistic II"
- 2006 Stolenspace, London, England, "Environmethodology"
- 2006 The Public Trust, Dallas, TX, "New Works"
- 2007 BLK/MRKT Gallery, Culver City, CA, "Sure, Why Not"
- 2008 ALICE Gallery, Brussels, Belgium, "•You Are Here"
- 2008 Lazarides Gallery, Newcastle, England, "Holy Sh*t"
- 2010 Joshua Liner Gallery, New York, NY, "New Works"
- 2012 FFDG Gallery, San Francisco, CA, "Lost for Words"
- 2013 Trace Gallery, Zurich, Switzerland, "Case Grande"
- 2014 Library Street Collective, Detroit, MI, "Cushion of Memory"
Lectures, Special Projects & Presentations
- University of Florida, Gainesville, FL – March, Ligature design conference, 2001
- Alte Chemie, Munich, Germany – February, Lecture & artist workshop, 2003
- AIGA, Los Angeles, CA – October, Lecture and Studio visit, 2004
- UCLA Design class, Los Angeles, CA – June, Lecture and studio visit, 2005
- Art Center, Pasadena, CA – September, Lecture and studio visit, 2005
- Montserrat College of Art, Beverly, MA – December, presentation and mural installation, 2007
- Semi-Permanent, Sydney, Australia – March, Design conference lecture, 2007
- BDX-LAX, Bordeaux, France, sponsored by The U.S. Consulate in Bordeaux, 2012