Exhibitionists: David Borgatta

David Borgatta became an artist when he lost three jobs and his house. After selling things to scrape together enough money to feed his son, Borgatta, homeless, looked around the small pile of possessions that were stuffed in the back of his truck and noticed a few empty canvases. At the end of his rope, he started to paint and, as he puts it, “magical things started happening.” Not long after that, he sold his first painting and has been making his living doing live art shows and selling his work at various events in California. 

1.) Who are your top 3 artistic influencers?

Peter Schroff

Rick Griffin

Rick Rietveld

2.) Where do you create your art?

I am a very spontaneous painter, and love to paint around people and in the middle of a scene. I paint right out of the back of my truck at El Porto, and local surf spots, at live exhibition art shows and occasionally in front of surf shops during promotions or events. I also have a small art studio in Redondo Beach that I do my work out of as well.

3.) How much time do you typically spend on each piece?

I generally spend 2-3 hours on a piece, and start with basically a prepped canvas — a washed canvas with a blend of color. Then, I have a group of techniques that I have developed over the years, combined with a shape, and then just surf the canvas with my paint brush. Much like how teenage kids talk about waves they surfed with their hands. I just feel the movement as if I am surfing it.

4.) What mediums do you work in?

Primarily acrylics, mostly because they dry fast, and being a road show artist, I sell them on the spot. It makes it so cool for the people to take away the painting they watched being painted. However, I use any medium that is in front of me and available. Recently, I have started venturing into oils to take the techniques to another level.

5.) Do you have any advice for young artists?

My advice is be grounded, and be true to you. Be sure to tap into the heart and soul of you, and you will discover a style that you can claim. Once you have your style discovered, brand yourself. If you want to become an artist for a living, then brand yourself to the world so you do not get stuck in a box of just selling paintings. If you can lock into a style that you can carry into other products. Then you will be able to enjoy the life of living as a successful artist, and that creates freedom.

Sidenote: December 7th, I will be doing a live exhibition painting at Spyder Snowfest in Hermosa Beach.

If you are not aware of it, Spyder Surf Shop, along with some Major Sponsors like Quiksilver, HURLEY, Budweiser, Skull Candy and others to name a few, bring in 60 tons of snow and build a snowboard mountain, and do a snowboard exhibition right in front of the pier.

It is estimated to bring in about 15,000 people, and is a huge event in the city. I will be doing this painting and donating it to be auctioned, with proceeds going Boardriders for Breast Cancer.

For more from Borgatta:





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