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David Parrish papers, 1940-2009, bulk 1964-1998

Biographical Note

David Parrish (1939-) is a Photorealist painter living in Huntsville, Alabama.
Parrish was born in Birmingham, Alabama, and received his B.F.A. from the University of Alabama in 1961. He briefly moved to New York with plans to become a magazine illustrator, but was unable to find a permanent job. He moved to Huntsville, Alabama in 1962 and became a technical illustrator for Hayes International Corporation. Parrish continued painting at his home studio, moving away from the painting style he learned in school, and instead working on paintings derived from photographs. He left his job as a technical illustrator in 1971 and became a full-time painter. That same year he joined French & Company in New York as a gallery artist and had his first one-man show at Brooks Memorial Art Gallery in Memphis, Tennessee.
During the 1970s Parrish saw success as a first generation photorealist. He was represented from 1973 to 1976 by Sidney Janis Gallery, and then moved to Nancy Hoffman Gallery. In 1987 he joined Louis K. Meisel Gallery, and is still represented by them today. Parrish's motorcycle paintings became his early trademark, and during the late 1980s into the 1990s he painted complex, intricate porcelain still lifes of Marilyn Monroe, Elvis, and other pop culture icons. Parrish has shown his work in numerous group and solo shows, including many international shows, and is in the permanent collection of many museums.