Passion is often an innate factor. It drives people to pursue something without knowing why they are inclined to do so. Some may find passion in music, others in dancing. After surviving a boat accident in 2015, David J. Marchi discovered an undeniable passion for painting. And while art has not always been with him since his early years, David is now exploring his talent as an artist. But his passion for painting is a truly extraordinary discovery, as David is one of the only 300 people in the world diagnosed with Acquired Savant Syndrome by a Savant Syndrome psychiatrist Dr. Darold Treffert.
Being involved in a boat accident, David fractured his back and injured both of his wrists. Prior to the accident, David shared that he never held a brush or painted his feelings on canvas. But after the life-and-death moment, he was left to face an almost miraculous journey as an artist as his passion for painting seems to have been woken from a deep sleep.
Acquired Savant Syndrome is an extremely rare condition. With only 300 people diagnosed, David is one of the lucky few who survived an accident and was given the opportunity to start life afresh with a new talent. Acquired Savant Syndrome is characterized as a presentation of skills that can emerge after an illness or a traumatic injury, materializing a change in the left hemisphere of the brain.
Acquired Savant Syndrome allows one to unleash abilities that were non-existent before a traumatic experience. Experts believed that such newly surfaced skills are not newly created but are released as compensatory abilities. Individuals who experience the syndrome often release skills in music, calendar calculating, mathematics, art, and spatial or mechanical skills. In David’s case, Acquired Savant Syndrome manifested through his talent for painting.
“The methodology of my art is a spiritual and subconscious process. I dream the colors and painting structures first, imprinting the image in my head,” said David. “In my studio, I sit on the floor, look at the negative space and start to pick the colors from the shelf. I line them together on the canvas giving them a tangible perspective of my dreams. My painting starts on the floor and then navigates to the wall,” the artist added.
With such a unique process of translating his vision into visual creations, David aims to explore where he can take his newly-released talent further. The artist currently attends the Art Students League of New York. He is studying under Larry Poons, Ronnie Lansfield, and Peter Broner, three respected names in the art industry. David is also an artist member of the prestigious Silvermine Guild. Furthermore, he is a member of MOMA, The Whitner, Guggenheim, and PAAM.
In addition, David has attended some of the best artist residencies in the world, including Berlin Art Institute in Berlin, Germany, Casa Na Ilha in São Paulo, Brazil, The Shacks in Provincetown, MA, and Chateau Orquevaux in Orquevaux, France.
“Through my art, I am actively involved in The Human Rights Campaign, Lady Gaga’s Born This Way Foundation, Positive Exposure, and Our Hearts Speaks,” David added. Since discovering his potential in painting, David has staged various exhibitions. In addition, he has created a solo art Basel Miami show. David is also a member of the board of directors of The Hygenic Gallery.
Learn more about David J. Marchi and see his paintings on his website.