David T. Schubert was an influential American graffiti artist and professional photographer celebrated for his captivating images of skateboarding and graffiti culture. He was born on September 9, 1973, and his remarkable career left a lasting impact on the art and skateboarding communities.
Early Years and Passion for Photography
Dave Schubert’s journey into the world of photography began at a young age. At just six years old, he received his first camera as a gift from his father, sparking a lifelong fascination with the art of capturing moments through the lens.
Schubert’s childhood was marked by frequent relocations due to his father’s service in the Air Force. These early experiences contributed to his diverse perspective and later artistic inspiration.
Exploring Graffiti and Skateboarding
During his teenage years, Schubert’s path took an artistic turn when he discovered graffiti after watching the iconic film, “The Warriors.” This cinematic experience ignited a passion for street art, leading him to explore the vibrant graffiti scene in New York City. During these visits to the city, he began documenting the thriving NYC skateboarding scene, particularly at the famous Brooklyn Banks skate spot.
In his late teens and early twenties, Schubert established himself as a skilled skate videographer. He dedicated his time to capturing the thrilling skateboarding moments that unfolded primarily on the East Coast of the United States, notably in Washington, D.C. His footage found its way into numerous skateboarding videos during the early ’90s.
In 1995, Schubert embarked on a new chapter in San Francisco, where he pursued a scholarship to study photography at the San Francisco Art Institute (SFAI). His relocation to California marked the beginning of a prolific period in his career.
Focusing on the dynamic graffiti and skateboarding communities in San Francisco, Schubert’s photographs vividly portrayed the essence of the city’s skateboarding and graffiti scenes during the 1990s and early 2000s. His work became synonymous with the street and underground culture.
Schubert’s creative endeavors extended beyond photography. He founded and published the highly regarded graffiti zine known as “Graffiti Document.” Additionally, he paid tribute to his close friend Dash Snow in 2009 by creating a fanzine featuring photographs of Snow.
His distinctive photographs found their way into the pages of prominent skateboarding magazines like Thrasher and Slap, as well as other publications including Mass Appeal, Anthem, Arktip, Purple Magazine, Plaza, and ANP Quarterly.
Art Exhibitions and Legacy
Schubert’s work was exhibited both locally and nationally. In San Francisco, his art graced spaces like the Luggage Store, the Shooting Gallery, Electric Works, and the Geary Gallery. He also showcased his work in renowned venues across the United States, including FUSE and Mudd Guts in NYC, Kavi Gupta in Chicago, and New Image Art in LA. His art even reached an international audience through a group art show in Copenhagen, Denmark, at V1 Gallery, in collaboration with ARKITIP.
In 2022, Schubert participated in the “Power of Pablo” charity art show organized by the Pablo Ramirez Foundation. His contribution, a striking photograph, was displayed alongside works by other acclaimed artists, including Mark Gonzales, Sean Greene, Haroshi, and more.
Remembering a Creative Force
Tragically, David T. Schubert’s life was cut short, and he passed away on January 1, 2023, at the age of 49. Despite his untimely departure, his artistic legacy and contributions to graffiti, skateboarding, and photography continue to inspire and resonate with enthusiasts worldwide.