David Banegas, was born on the 4th of July 1975 in Santa Cruz, Bolivia.
When David was ten years old his Father moved the family to the border of Bolivia and Brazil where he had a business and they lived there for a year. It was very dangerous living there and so his father then moved them to Campo Grande, Brazil, which was about a half-hour flight away.
It seemed that David was born to paint and it was inherent in his nature. He first began to paint when he was six years old and his gift was really awakened when he was ten years old. This creative nature was spurred only at night and he would stay up until 3:00 am., every night painting while his mother watched. David didn't want to paint alone and his mother nurtured his gift by keeping him company
It was in Campo Grande where David first took art classes in a private school while he was going to elementary school and at the age of eleven he had his first 'collected exhibition' in an art gallery. At the age of twelve David had his first mentor, an old master art teacher from Japan, Mr. Masahiko Fujita. The most poignant lesson that Master Fujita taught David was to capture the eyes. This is meant to be the center focus and that focus remains with David to this day. Once he captures the eyes he is locked in place and the rest of the painting then follows. Master Fujita continually spoke of the eyes being the windows to the soul and this truly is David's gift and ability. He has this insight and it is if he is seeing what he is painting with a third eye, culminating in layer upon layer of truth and dimension reaching beyond the surface with depth of character.
David did his second 'collected exhibition' in Campo Grande when he was twelve years old. When David was thirteen he had his first 'solo exhibition' in Santa Cruz, Bolivia. He was able to sell thirty out of the forty pieces he had for sale. He also presented the President of Bolivia, Hugo Banzer with a realistic portrait of his face. In return, the President honored David with a scholarship. This enabled David to continue his studies with Master Fujita till he was fifteen years old. Master Fujita was able to guide David and assist him to master paintings of people, landscapes, flora's and buildings using many unique brush techniques. At the age of fifteen David moved to the United Sates as an exchange student in Carthage, Illinois. David was able to learn English from the host family and attend art classes at Macomb University of Illinois.
From Illinois David moved to Miami where he continued his studies at the Ft. Lauderdale art institute. Miami became a training ground for David and he experienced a rapid acceleration of growth. The many different artists he came into contact with fueled this. Miami was a melting pot and draws artists from all over the country and Europe. Artists including William Debilzan and Eric Nord inspired David and he learned some of their techniques including a lot of texturing. David was like a sponge absorbing as much as he could and then came a point where he felt like he came into his own and discovered his own technique and style. David has trouble describing what it actually is because it really can't be defined. It can't be placed in a box or a category. David says, "my technique is something that happens at the moment, it flows, I can't explain it. It is just that moment. It can be really fast or it can be really slow, it can take forever, but it only happens that moment".
"It is the art that God gives you, it is an unbelievable feeling", David says. If there is a name for this method it would be 'Action Painting', it is done layer upon layer and is created with pure feeling. It comes from letting go of all fears and painting what is felt and so this is a transcendent moment. The term 'Action Painting' is very appropriate because David likes to paint live. On a recent meeting I had with David he spoke of how people have a desire to see artists paint live and how they want to see the real thing. David is an innovator and he can truly see and interpret the times we live in. His art is a reflection and an overflow of who he is and this comes from this place he has found of living in the now. Some say it is magical, some say it is spiritual, and some say they have never seen anything like it before. What all agree upon is that David's work is a true gift to behold and those who are believers say they can see God in his work.
David, himself recognizes that it is a gift that God has given him and he is truly grateful that he can use his hands to create these amazing visuals for everyone to witness. He is truly humble and there is a light that emanates from him and flows through him. David is dedicated to working for charities around the country and South America. His main concern is for children, as David says, "they are our future". David has established the 'David Banegas foundation' and their first primary focus will be on helping children with shoes, in U.S. and Bolivia.
David has the philosophy of giving as much as you can and then it will be given to you. Giving has always been his first priority. In 2008, he did a portrait of Marilyn and auctioned it for 'The Dragonfly foundation', which is an organization founded by P. J. Schrantz, a retired New York City firefighter whose son passed away from Leukemia. The proceeds from this painting went to children with Cancer. Since then David has worked for other charities that provide vaccines' for children with Cancer, charities that help children with Down Syndrome and he is currently working to help children with Autism.
David sums all of this work up as being "the pursuit of happiness'. It has been a tough journey but now he is seeing the light and the flowers beginning to rise after many seeds have been planted. David is well aware that art is a luxury and he recognizes the fact giving is 'good karma'.