David Park was a painter defying often-held conventional beliefs in the art world.

One, he was a teacher in high school and later at various art schools preventing him from becoming a great artist.

Two, he started off painting in one style, but then suddenly he used a totally different style and approach.

Park started painting early, he was 17 years old. By age 22 he had his first solo show at the Oakland art gallery. He was painted in the Cubist style. The show was hailed as a young talented painter.

In 1943 he started teaching art at a San Francisco art school.

Influenced by Picasso he continued to paint in the Cubist style.

I first saw some of his Cubist paintings while on a holiday in San Francisco. I loved what I saw and bought two of them, not knowing anything about him.

But in order to pay for them required a bank loan of $5,000. And that first purchase was the beginning of my long-life journey as an art collector.

In 1949 Park shocked the art world – his Cubist period was over. He switched style – painting the human body in bold, vivid colours. That approach – along with other painters from the San Francisco area – was called the Bay Area Figurative Movement, one of the most important art movements in American art.

His new paintings were bold, joyous, celebrating people, often with musical overtones, given that Park also was a jazz musician.

Today his paintings today are held in major museums in the United States and in collections by collectors all over the world.

Every Wednesday journalist, George Froehlich, gets personal – sharing with you, his amazing travel destinations, his wonderful recipes, art he loves, music he enjoys.
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