Facing Survival  |   David Kassan

On Exhibit at USC Fisher Museum of Art

September 18 — December 7, 2019

David Kassan is an internationally recognized contemporary American painter who brings “Facing Survival” to the USC Fisher Museum of Art following his residency with the museum and USC Shoah Foundation.  

In preparation for painting their portraits, Kassan filmed his subjects’ testimonies, getting to know them deeply. His intimate understanding of his subjects and of their unique histories enables him to convey a sense of their experiences during the Holocaust as much as it does their individual appearances now in testimony.

To extend the exploration of testimony and its multiple forms, the exhibition from Sept. 18, 2019, to Dec. 7, 2019, will also feature USC Shoah Foundation’s interactive biography “Dimensions in Testimony.” Through this cutting-edge interactive display, visitors to the exhibition will be able to ask questions of some of the subjects in the paintings and hear their pre-recorded responses, giving firsthand accounts of their experiences.

The collaboration advances USC Shoah Foundation’s Stronger Than Hate initiative to build a proactive, effective, actionable response to the growth and proliferation of antisemitism, racism and other forms of identity-based hatred worldwide.

About the artist

Born in 1977 in Little Rock, Arkansas, David Jon Kassan is an internationally recognized contemporary American painter, best known for his life-size representational paintings, which combine figurative subjects with symbolic textured abstract backgrounds. A form of social documentary, David’s paintings are often described as raw, poignant and profoundly honest, capturing humanity in its true form. As an artist, Kassan acts as an empathetic intermediary between the subject he portrays and the viewer. More than simply replicating his subjects Kassan seeks to understand them. He seeks to capture the essence of those he paints, imbuing them with their own voice.

David is a lauded realist painter who brings “Facing Survival” to USC Fisher Museum of Art following his residency with the museum and USC Shoah Foundation in 2018. Kassan’s works can be seen in many public and private collections worldwide. He is represented by Gallery Henoch (Chelsea), New York, NY and The Maxwell Alexander Gallery, Los Angeles. Kassan lives and works in Albuquerque, New Mexico and Brooklyn, NYC. His art has been exhibited at the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery, The National Portrait Gallery in London, The Scottish National Portrait Gallery, among others.

Made possible with generous support from The Kenneth T. and Eileen L. Norris Foundation.