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David Edward Kucera   Click Images to Enlarge

David Edward Kucera

The Indian Shaman
Oil on masonite
30 x 24 ¼ inches

Signed lower left D.E.Kucera


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(American, b. 1961-)


David Edward Kucera was born in San Jose, California on March 20, 1961. With an artistic nature that began at a very early age, Kucera's family was graced with his first serious works on bedroom walls and household encyclopedias. At the age of ten, he and his family moved to a quiet farming community in Sherman County, Nebraska, where he completed high school and began art classes. In 1984, this highly creative individual chose to attend the Musician's Institute in Hollywood, California, where he focused on guitar and toured in a road band for two years. Before and after marrying his wife Paulette in Rock Springs, Wyoming in 1988, Kucera worked odd jobs in Casper and Cheyenne areas and became familiar with Indian life and traditions. By 1989, the couple moved to Denver, Colorado, where Kucera finished his formal artistic training at the Colorado Institute of Art, from which the artist graduated with honors.

Kucera's attention to detail and his sensitive to light, shade and color contrasts as they appear in nature, portray natural realism in an exquisite manner. William George of The New World said Kucera's native American portraits, “The results of loosening and tightening [techniques] are portraits of stunning intensity that use vibrant colors to depict natives in traditional garb.” With strong illustration skills, Kucera easily could have been a prominent illustrator, but he rejected offers to work for magazines and book publishers in pursuit to find in personal expression an aspect of his inner feelings. Many of these paintings have been published as sold-out limited-edition prints.

Kucera says of Indians, “I was drawn to their ways, the closeness to nature, the circle of life, and the clothing.” His models are dancers and citizens from the Ojibwa, Lakota, Blackfoot and other Great Lakes and Plains Indian nations, who travel the powwow circuit competing in traditional and fancy dances. Kucera often documents them in full costume, working as much as possible from life. He captures the grace, dignity, and poise of his subjects and the intricate details of their faces and costumes, as well as the intimate aspects of the landscape around them. His realistic classicism relates to his serious study of Caravaggio and to self-discipline.