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David Witbeck

David Witbeck

David Witbeck

In the first 18 years of his life, David Witbeck probably spent no more than a three or four week period, on family vacations, anywhere near salt water, yet he always drew pictures of fishing boats, lighthouses and stormy seascapes and read every sea story he could find.  When studying at Pratt Institute, Witbeck would often bunk his morning painting classes to hang out at the Fulton Fish Market and take photographs of fishing boats with the BrooklynBridgelooming behind them and of longshoremen pushing handcarts loaded with crates of iced fish over the cobbled streets.

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In the first 18 years of his life, David Witbeck probably spent no more than a three or four week period, on family vacations, anywhere near salt water, yet he always drew pictures of fishing boats, lighthouses and stormy seascapes and read every sea story he could find.  When studying at Pratt Institute, Witbeck would often bunk his morning painting classes to hang out at the Fulton Fish Market and take photographs of fishing boats with the BrooklynBridgelooming behind them and of longshoremen pushing handcarts loaded with crates of iced fish over the cobbled streets.

Since graduating from Rhode Island School of Design, Witbeck has been a free-lance photographer and has used his camera to open a lot of doors.  The excuse of shooting a photo essay is a great way to get into situations that he otherwise couldn't, such as getting aboard tugboats, lobster boats, and  on commercial fishing vessels. 

In 1991, Witbeck and his wife met Leo Brooks, a painter, who was working onMonheganIsland that summer.  Witbeck loved his childlike drawing, bold colors and complete disregard for objective reality.  He hadn't painted since 1968, but Leo's work struck a chord and started him thinking about painting again. Putting together a collection of lines, shapes and colors that add some order, Witbeck brings a brightness and humor to a world too often crazy. 

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