Dave Dunn’s art is defined by a unique ability to invest his inanimate metal constructions with both whimsy and primordial dark mystery. His works draw on imagery and meaning from a metallurgical era lost to the modern age. His frequent use of medieval elements in his welded and forged work style evokes a recognition of historical elements, while imbuing the work with nuance and fantasy. Combining repurposed tools, found metal pieces or modern steel implements with deft creativity, he brings to life primordial creatures with movement and personality.

From his earliest years growing up on a creek flowing into the Chesapeake Bay, he combined driftwood and other found objects deposited by high tides and repurposed them into art objects while daydreaming about what lurked beneath the waves. He also spent formative years living in Paris, France, the son of an American diplomat, surrounded by the medieval and renaissance imagery of the old world. Today he works out of his DunnInMetal Studios in Silver Spring, Maryland.

Dunn began his formal creative career in theater set design and studio art at the College of Charleston, South Carolina, where he also discovered metal fabrication and the creative properties of metallurgy. His gift for “sewing with fire” became his metier, and his abstract creatures have been crawling, slithering and swimming out of his Maryland studio ever since.

His most recent body of work, “Creatures of the Deep”, was exhibited in the Zabar Gallery at the highly regarded Studios of Key West in 2021. These sculptures have him repurposing hard metal castoffs into imaginative representations of the beings and beasts who rule the ocean depths. Characterized by the spiked steel edges of medieval armaments and imbued with a dose of mid-century B-movie curiosity, these creatures serve as a reflection of the mysterious and fantastical life forms that may lurk in the deepest part of the sea.

Dave Dunn’s work is represented in private collections in Paris and Normandy France, New York, Los Angeles and Malibu, California, Washington DC, New Orleans, Lexington KY, Asheville NC, Austin TX, Key West, the Hunt Country of Virginia, Shelter Island NY and across the Chesapeake Bay region.

“The Driftar” Dunn 2002 First work