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One of the most recognized names in contemporary pinup art today. Dave blends a slick photorealistic touch with elements of pop culture and iconic imagery to produce paintings that stand apart from the classic Glamour/Cheesecake style. His work has been featured in countless magazines here and abroad. A regular on the convention circuit, Dave’s work has been displayed in numerous group gallery exhibitions, along with his participation in many compilation art book projects such as George Lucas’ Star Wars “Vision” project. With 5 published personal art books to his credit, Dave is currently a contributor to Acme Archives Direct creating entertainment art for movie and television properties such as Disney, Lucasfilm ( Star Wars, Indiana Jones ), 20th Century Fox, Universal, Sony, among others.
Born on the East coast, Dave showed signed at an early age that there was promise and destination to be developed from the outcome of hours spent drawing and doodling in class. With no real direction in sight… pleasing friends, family, and agitating faculty members seemed to give Dave his greatest pleasure as an artist. After high school, Dave enrolled in the Fine Arts and General Studies program at the University of Pittsburgh. With no real challenges at hand, Dave quit after three years and enrolled at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh in the Visual Communications and Commercial Arts program. This was the environment where skills could be developed, mediums introduced, and styles envisioned.
Halfway through the program, Dave realized where his talents were best developed. He had an insatiable appetite for painting people, and an even more uncanny ability for capturing their likeness’… especially beautiful women. Add to this a photo-realistic, color rich illustrative style, and the choice was clear.
There was only one place to be…Hollywood, and all the industry had to offer.
After graduation, Dave moved to Los Angeles and began a career in the character building, rejection heavy arena known mostly to… “The Starving Artist”. But after a few short months, work came more frequently. Soon Dave was working all around the entertainment community. Film, TV, Radio, Ad Agencies, Design Studios.
Dave’s ability to capture the likeness’ of recognizable people kept him very busy through the mid-80’s. With his goals within reach, a shift in the industry occurred, and photography began to replace traditional illustration. All of a sudden, the movie posters and album covers Dave had envisioned himself creating were non-existent. At that point, Dave moved back to his hometown of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and began working in the advertising community. Moving through the local and regional ranks of free-lance illustrators, Dave soon found himself working on national accounts. With the end of the decade approaching, his work appeared on regional covers for TV Guide and other national publications alongside some of his biggest art school inspirations such as artists Drew Struzan and Richard Amsel. With national recognition on the horizon, the inevitable occurred.
Computers and computer graphics were introduced to the industry. Within a two year period, the need for high priced illustrators was reduced to a fraction of what it once was in the eighties. Not content to give up on his dreams, and having no desire to participate in the world of computer graphics and design, Dave searched for a market that supported what he did best: painting people, especially women.
Enter the Glamourcon. On the recommendation from a photographer friend, Nestler attended his first Glamourcon in the fall of 1995. Not being a stranger to classic pinup art, Dave entered the show expecting to see the work of Gil Elvgren, Joyce Ballantine and other artists of the past. What he saw was a collection of contemporary pinup artists such as: Olivia, Jim Silke, Dave Stevens, Robert Blue and others who had resurrected an art form that had laid dormant for years. For Dave Nestler, this was his pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, a market solely dedicated to the artistic expression of the female form.
A decades worth of working in the dog eat dog world of advertising taught Dave one thing. To get recognized, you have to set yourself apart from the herd. The “Blonde and Gagged” series was born of this approach. Instant recognition and market wide acclaim came quickly. Not since Sorayama’s sexy robot women has a continuing series of paintings made such an impact on an international scale. The amount of imitators and replications of the -Blonde and Gagged- style is a testament to that. The natural progression in an artists career would tell them to find what it is that they do best and continue in that direction.
For Dave Nestler, that direction has yet to be discovered. And it’s that challenge that fuels Dave’s creative exploration into the world of Pinup Art. From Glamour to Erotica, from Fetish to Fantasy. Most artists will tell you that your only as good as your next painting. For some people, not knowing what’s next can be intimidating and creatively exhausting.
For Dave Nestler… It’s a bonus.