David Ohlerking

The (Ohler)king is gone

Self portrait by David Ohlerking
Self portrait by David Ohlerking

David Ohlerking is leaving.

So many of them leave, these visual artists, these dancers, these theatre sorts.

Ohlerking's a painter and a draftsman, the man who (with Chris Chappell) started the Austin Figurative Gallery that's been host to so many art shows and painting parties and (with a little help from Ellen Bartel and friends) Butoh performances over the past two years. He has galvanized the Austin scene of figurative and other painters, bringing the DIY sensibility of his Houston punk days to jump-start events and conversations and a lingering vibe of something's-going-on-and-it's-good to the often more slackerly pace of local doings. And now he's moving to New Jersey.

Uh, New Jersey? WTF?

"I got in touch with a girl I liked in high school back in Belgium," says Ohlerking, "and I fell in love with her during a Facebook chat while I was recording some songs at Susan Griswold's studio and she was fighting with some ornery Pro Tools feature."

Of course: It's always about a girl, a boy, a romance. But no:

"So I went up to visit her in Jersey," continues Ohlerking, "and while I was there, I finally met my painting teacher of seven years – Alex Kanevsky, who did the paintings for that Synecdoche, New York movie – and spent a day with him. I told him I was considering moving up to his neck of the woods, and he seemed to approve. I also met back up with a former Austin gallery chick who wants to pimp my paintings out in the NYC. When presented with all that potential goodness, I made the obvious choice."

Before the artist takes off, though, there's an exhibition and farewell party at Salvage Vanguard Theater on Dec. 7 (see Arts Listings, p.82, for details), where you can get to know what we've got 'til he's gone.

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

David Ohlerking, Austin Figurative Gallery, Ellen Bartel, Chris Chappell, Alex Kanevsky

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