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 Dave (David Archer Nelson) Archer  (1941 - )



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Lived/Active: California      Known for: space art, mixed media on glass, reverse glass artist, sculpture

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BIOGRAPHY for Dave Archer
1941 (San Luis Obispo, California)

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space art, mixed media on glass, reverse glass artist, sculpture

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Dave Archer (born David Archer Nelson January 15, 1941) is a reverse glass painter and sculptor.  In his 2002 memoirs, Archer recalls his experiences living and working in North Beach, San Francisco in various capacities, and of the characters he met there. Some were famous and many others, such as Hoyt Axton, Janis Joplin and Steve Martin (who got their starts in San Francisco at the Fox and Hound - later called Coffee and Confusion - where Archer worked) who were up-and-coming and later became famous.

Archer’s primary medium is reverse glass painting, which he pioneered with artist Ron Russell. The technique consists of applying paint or pigment to the underside of a glass plate then applying a million volts of electricity generated from a Tesla coil to disperse the paint into randomly generated patterns.

Recently he has begun sculpting using found object armatures, which he then covers with an activated resin substance, using various tools to make impressions which he refers to as “markings”, then adding pigments of various colors to highlight the impressions.

Dave Archer’s paintings have been featured on Star Trek, decorating the Enterprise set on Star Trek: The Next Generation television show, received screen credit in the movie, Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country and was included in Star Trek: Generations.

He has demonstrated the reverse-glass painting technique on over two-hundred television shows, including Eye To Eye With Connie Chung, Beyond 2000, and Discovery Channel's, The Next Step and World's of Wonder.

Archer’s paintings have been on numerous book jackets including: Fantasy and Earth by Isaac Asimov; N-Space and Playgrounds of the Mind by Larry Niven; Music Physician by Don Campbell; The Oxygen Barons by Gregory Feeley; The Starry Rift and the Crown of Stars by James Tiptree, Jr.; Alastor and Planet of Adventure by Jack Vance as well as the Vance Anthology of City of the Chasch / Servants of the Wankh / The Dirdir / The Pnume

In the print media, Archer’s work was featured in Omni (magazine), and National Geographic Magazine. He has also appeared in Ripley’s Believe It or Not! comic in the Sunday newspaper .

Archer’s work has been shown in the world headquarters of AT&T on Madison Avenue in New York City, and the Hayden Planetarium in Central Park in New York.

    •    Archer’s first book, Survival Art, Painting and Sculpting for Food, Clothing and Shelter was published by Coyotel Press in 2009.
    •    In 2009, Coyotel Press also published his collaboration with Steve Hapy, Will Taylor, and Steven
    •    Johnson Leyba titled The Trickster’s Bible: A Never Ending Book

"Dave Archer",  Wikipedia, (Accessed 5/22/2013)

Biography from Hilton Head Art Auction (formerly Charleston):
Best known for high voltage space art, which is known as reverse glass or verso painting, Dave Archer creates work using millions of volts of electricity as a paint brush. He began this type of work in 1970, as a joint venture with Ron Russell.

Archer's work has been used in numerous book cover illustrations and for television programs such as Eye to Eye with Connie Chung and some of the "Star Trek" series.

** If you discover credit omissions or have additional information to add, please let us know at

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