Artist Statement

In November 2009 Dave Fox was invited to exhibit his work at the Aktionradius, a cultural center, located in what once was the heart of the Jewish community of Vienna.

The following were Dave’s thoughts on being an artist and about returning to Vienna in 2009 after seven decades:

Why now? Why Vienna now? Seven decades have gone by since I left Vienna, and except for maybe a few short passing through stops, I never thought of returning. So, I ask, why now? And why would I share glimpses of my life and art now? Did seventeen years of living and playing, near and around the Prater and the Augarten leave some indelible marks on my work? Or has the time arrived to tell of people and places in the past who have embraced strangers, outcasts, refugees with compassion and made them part of their own.

One of the fondest moments in growing up are the stories parents tell their children at bedtime. I am a painter of stories, not of words but of paint, ink and clay. My stories are not of the glitter, gold or of high society ladies, nor of the less glorious ladies of the night. Mine are stories of people like you and me, skilled craftsmen, small business owners and retirees. I paint and draw the people who once in several years can afford to take a holiday cruise; People who take their children Sunday afternoons to museums, and folks who attend festivals, concerts and the theater.

My art doesn’t stop egomaniac nuts from grabbing power but neither did great artists like Kollwitz, Grosz or Dix. My work doesn’t keep ambitious politicians and generals from starting unjust wars, but neither did the great cartoons of “GI Joe” by Bill Mauldin. If my paintings and prints make you stop for a moment, to look and think and walk on with a smile on your face, that would be enough, but I hope you look closer and enter my world as viewed from my life as it played out in California, oceans away from my beginnings in Vienna.

To the persons and places unnamed who helped along the long journey from Augarten to Los Angeles – Thanks, Shalom Peace.

Dave Fox