David Ottinger


In a speech from the spring of 2016, I tried to sum up the essence of what I feel every artist tries to accomplish. I stated, “Only that which redefines the definition of the word has any chance to become that which it pretends to define.”

It is certainly no simple task to change the definition of a word. However every great artist throughout history has done just that. Jackson Pollack, Camille Pissarro and Leonardo Da Vinci changed the definition of painting. Donatello (Donato di Nicocolò di Betto Bardi) and Donald Judd and Kara Walker changed the definition of sculpture. David Octavius Hill and Edward Stieglitz and Cindy Sherman changed Photography.

As a student I was enthralled with two topics, Art and Psychology. At times I try to bring the two together in the same conversation. Though I taught Figure Drawing, Painting and Art History for decades, I am still enchanted with the idea of bringing Psychology and Painting together in a way that tries to define the moment when an individual makes a decision or comes to a realization about a dilemma or idea.

It is the search for that indefinable that intrigues me the most and of course, is the most elusive.