Flackman is an American Realist with a style akin
to Spanish Realism -- which he explains is more
realistic than both the Italian and Dutch schools
Born in New York City, Flackman studied at the
Art Student League in Manhattan. He is a graduate
of Stanford University, where he majored in fine
art and anthroplogy. He continued to study art
in Spain for several years and after returning
to New York in 1958, he met his true "maestro"
- Pietro Annigoni, the renowned Italian portrait
followed Annigoini to Florence, Italy,
where at the age of 24 he began a 5-year apprenticeship
under the master.
He also studied with Nerina Simi, another leading exponent
of the same school of Italian Realism. (Annigonni's
background can be viewed at http://www.annigoni.com)
In Florence, David met Giuliana, a model and inspiration
for many of his early paintings. The couple married
in Monaco, France, in 1966. The year the Flackmans were
wed, David represented the United States in the Lleme
Grand Prix D'Art Contemporain de La Principaute De Monaco.
He also has had exhibitions at the Massini Gallery in
Florence, the Winer Gallery, and for many years he was
associated with Portraits, Inc., both in New York City.
and Giuliana in Florence 1966
1967 portrait of Richard Nixon appeared on the cover of
Time magazine. In 1969, he made 6 paintings of the Apollo
8 astronauts, Kennedy Space Center and the launching of
the spacecraft. The paintings were shown at the National
Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. and have become part
of its permanent collection. His work has also been shown
at the Bruce Museum and the Bell Gallery, Landmark Square,
Stamford, Connecticut. In the early 1980s, Flackman painted
a portrait of his friend, the late Monsignor James J.
McLaughlin of St. Anges Church and also a portrait of
St. Anges which he donated to the church in Stamford.
Despite successes in portraiture and figurative work,
Flackman feels that his still lifes are truly where he
began to paint. And his still life paintings often begin
with the actual cultivation of his subjects.
"I always studied to paint like the old masters,"
he says. And when you look at the paintings of the old
masters, you wonder, or you should wonder, just exactly
what are the flowers they used, what kind of fruit. Do
we still grow the same types of things?"
As for gardening, he believes, it's the best thing you
can do in the world. "You are out there underneath
the sky and that's all you think about -- you're just
with nature. It's Wordsworthian. You're also producing
something. I'm making something that I'm going to use
in my paintings and Giuliana is going to cook and afterwards
we're going to eat it."