David Levine Biography

Thousands of caricatures and hundreds of oil and watercolor paintings have flowed from David Levine’s mind and hands, his pencils, pens and brushes for more than fifty years. Born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1926, Levine was trained by his parents to question authority and to love the underdog. He learned from professors and colleagues at the Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia to extract technique and theory from artists throughout history.

The result: For decades he’s been acknowledged worldwide as the most devastatingly insightful caricaturist since Daumier. His examinations of human flaws and foibles express a central passion. "I love my species," says Levine.

According to John Updike: "Besides offering us the delight of recognition, his drawings comfort us, in an exacerbated and potentially desperate age, with the sense of a watching presence, an eye informed by an intelligence that has not panicked […]. Levine is one of America’s assets. In a confusing time, he bears witness. In a shoddy time, he does good work."

David Levine was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1926 and studied at the Brooklyn Museum of Art School, Pratt Institute, the Tyler School of Art at Temple University in Philadelphia and the Eighth Street School of New York with Hans Hoffman. His many awards include the Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Award in 1955 and, later, the Isaac Maynard, Julius Hallgarten and Thomas B. Clarke awards (all from the National Academy of Design), the George Polk Memorial Award, a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Childe Hassam Purchase Prize (American Academy of Arts and Letters), the John Pike Memorial Prize and the Gold Medal of the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters in 1993. Internationally, Levine has received the French Legion of Honor award and the Thomas Nast Award in Landau, Germany.

Levine lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.