It was in high school that Dave Bossert took his first sculpture class at C.W. Post University while growing up on Long Island. In those early years he worked in clay, wax, plaster, wood, metal and plastic; experimenting as he explored a variety of subject matter and techniques. After graduating from Massapequa High School he headed west to attend the world renowned art institute CalArts where his sculpture work took a back seat to a focus on film and animation. He studied at CalArts on a Disney Scholarship and graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the famed Character Animation program.
Dave has spent nearly 30 years at The Walt Disney Studios contributing his artistic talents to such films as The Little Mermaid, Beauty and The Beast, Aladdin, Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Lion King, Pocahontas, Tim Burton’s Nightmare Before Christmas, Fantasia 2000 and the Academy Award nominated shorts Runaway Brain, Lorenzo, and Destino. For a more complete filmography of his work, please visit .
It wasn’t until the mid 1990′s that Dave started to get back to his own personal art by creating dimensional artwork again. It was during this period that he started going up to the mid-coast of Maine each summer for a week or two, by himself, on what he has described as a “sabbatical” from life. For much of the last decade he has concentrated on creating wildlife sculptures.
Dave has divided much of his time on these summer breaks in Maine between sailing, creating wildlife sculptures and eating Lobsta, which, at least to him, seems like the perfect combination! During these visits he often takes time to wonder remote beaches collecting weathered driftwood and other found objects that he incorporates into his art.
All of the sculptures displayed here were created by Dave using mostly hand tools; chisels, knives, spoke shaves, planes, etc. he uses basswood which is a soft, even grained wood that has a consistent density. Those properties make it a perfect wood for sculpting as it is very easy to work with chisels and knives. The eyes are made from glass and most of the fins on these fish sculptures were fabricated from copper with the exception of the larger tail fins and occasionally a dorsal fin which are wood.
All the artistic interpretations of these sculptures were finished by hand using airbrush, sable brushes, Sharpies and oil paint sticks. Dave likes to use found objects in his work; much of the driftwood in these sculptures was found on the mid coast of Maine and along the California coast. The sculptures are all mounted on mahogany which has a straight grain usually free of knots and with a warm, rick reddish brown color. These bases have been hand crafted from mahogany reclaimed from a storied boatyard in Maine.
Why fish? Simply stated, fish are a near perfect match between form and function with more than 250 varieties of trout alone to learn about, sculpt and enjoy.
We hope that you have enjoyed viewing these sculptures as much as Dave had making them!