David Lenz

Year inducted: 2008

David Lenz comes from a family of artists, with his grandfather and father both well known to Wisconsin residents. While David continues that tradition, he seems to have achieved greater recognition outside the region in good part due to his having won the 2006 Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition at the National Portrait Gallery of the Smithsonian Institution with “Sam and the Perfect World” ? a portrait of his son. That notable achievement was immediately followed by a commission to paint the portrait of the founder of the Special Olympics, Eunice Kennedy Shriver. Since he was a child, David strove to be an artist, and during his evolution to adulthood he developed his unique super-realistic style that in its clarity breathes a suggestion of surrealism. Viewing his work, with its detail and seeming perfection, can cause an observer to shake a head in disbelief and awe. The time spent creating in this painstaking technique sometimes results in only a few works being painted each year. In those paintings he recreates his sitters and their world as carefully and authentically as possible . . . capturing essences and generating a sense of other worldly environments. In the publication, “Vital Culture,” author Peggy Sue Dunigan asked David this question: “If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the pearly gates?’ David’s reply was, “You made the world a better place in some small way.”

Works by David Lenz