Bright Lights/Big City by Douglas David

doug, truck, field

For painter Douglas David, you might say his newest show “Bright Lights/Big City,” opening November 7 in the City Gallery, began six years ago in Paris. While browsing through a flea market, David came across an antique painting portraying a commonly painted spot on the Seine River. While the dealer was pushing him to buy a different painting, David’s desire didn’t waver. He returned to the states with a painting that presently hangs above his alarm clock, meaning it is the first and last thing he sees every day.

It’s no wonder that, with this daily muse filling his eyes each morning and each evening, David has kindly taken to capturing some cityscapes of his own. Whether from life en plein air, or from a photo reference, these cityscapes have been sourced in the locally iconic images of Indianapolis. Because of this, these pieces are incredibly approachable for those of us who, either formerly or presently, call Indy home. “This is the first time I have ever painted these small canvases of Indianapolis,” David excitedly explained. “I like the old landmarks and the things that make people happy. I also like the casual snapshot quality and want these pieces to be almost like tourist shots.”


We all have these casual snapshots of context that come to represent the entirety of a place. A building becomes the mixed emotions of a past season of life. A tree takes you back to the summers you spent outside on the streets of your childhood home, and all the while the same tree carries a completely different contextual association for another. The world around us holds our memories. It stores them neatly till the day we return to reminisce about the times that brought us to our present. “I selected landmarks and intersections that have become familiar to me since I came to town back in 1975. These are places I love, and places I have passed for many years but never visited. I hope people will relate and enjoy,” David said.

I’m sure we will, Mr. David. I’m sure we will…

Douglas David’s show “Bright Lights/Big City” opens in the City Gallery on November 7 at 6:00 PM.