In my early work, capturing the likeness of the subject and play of light and shadow fired my creative expression. Now I focus on transcending ideas of ‘representation’ found in traditional portraiture. I am driven to capture the subject’s humanity, as well as their spirit. This creates a deeply unique connection to the viewer as the painting begins to vibrate and take on a life of it’s own.


Throughout my process I serve three masters:  the subject, the painting, and the viewer.  I begin with a concept, which is then composed and photographed for reference. Intuition takes over as I paint, and I become in complete service to the painting and its needs. Every aspect and detail of my work is very intentional and considered, there are no superfluous moments.


Honoring my subject with dramatic open space and striking composition, protects it and also envelops the observer. This creates an intimate relationship and setting to experience the work in a uniquely personal way.


This current work sets out to explore new and empowered representations of transgender and gender non-conforming people, creating more visually inclusive representation outside of the borders of traditional social convention.



David Marvel hails from the east coast. His twenties were spent south, in Miami, where he came into his own as a performer and then found himself forced to confront some difficult situations in his life. During this period he found a reprieve in painting and its meditative escape that reconnected him to his spirit.


David’s influences range from Caravaggio and Rembrandt, to more contemporary artists, Jeremy Geddes and Jenny Saville.