Dave Muller, a lifelong artist, was raised in North County San Diego, though he has called many places home, including Arizona and Hawaii. He eventually settled in Northern California, earning a BFA in painting and drawing from the California College of Arts and Crafts in San Francisco. Simultaneously, he co-created a studio/gallery in Oakland.
As an experimental addition to his art career, Dave co-founded Outerlands, a celebrated restaurant in San Francisco's Outer Sunset neighborhood, which evolved into a new art form and creative outlet. After successfully operating the restaurant for fifteen years, Dave made the full-time switch back to his passion of visual art. He now focuses on watercolor painting, teaching classes, and reconnecting with the Bay Area art community. Growing his presence through exhibitions and solo shows, Dave's work centers on the natural world and its spiritual significance to humanity.
When Outerknown approached Dave to create a custom piece for the Marin shop, he eagerly embraced the opportunity to craft a driftwood installation, reigniting his connection with nature's profound importance and our responsibility to protect it.
"This sculpture is larger and more developed than any installation I have created to date. The materials are sourced with more careful intention than ever. As a result, the symbolism has had more opportunity to reveal itself during the creative process," Dave said.
The sculpture Dave crafted for Outerknown's Marin shop is, on the surface, an homage to coastal California, made up of hundreds of meticulously selected pieces of driftwood carefully salvaged along the shores of Northern California. The wood forms a mosaic, creating an undulating spiral inspired by elements ranging from ocean waves to the Fibonacci sequence.
"Spirals are the blueprint for our entire world, from organic growth patterns to galaxies and subatomic particles. When one begins to look, they appear everywhere. The process of creating this installation is all about observation, discovering what is right before our eyes, and uncovering the profound meaning that constantly surrounds us," Dave said. "In my commitment to minimize the environmental impact during the wood collection for this project, I imposed a strict rule of only allowing myself to gather one small bag of driftwood during each beach walk. The well-worn pieces I seek are a rare find, appearing at a rate of roughly one in every hundred pieces I come across. My goal is to strike a delicate balance between honoring and preserving the habitats I collect from."