About David Alan Cooney

When he was seven years old David Cooney's parents noticed that he had a knack for capturing exquisite detail in his drawings. After many years of experience and education, David's knack has become his craft. Over the years David has completed more than 50 graphite portraits of subjects ranging from Pope Paul II to Frank Sinatra as well as many of the world's most recognized celebrities. It takes more than three weeks to complete each portrait - the shading detail show how incredibly life-like Cooney's renditions appear.

He has captured the likenesses of greats such as Mickey Mantle, Jim McMahon, the wild-haired and wrinkled Albert Einstein, and the warm generous smile of Venezuelan great short-stop Chico Carrasquel.  

Art critics who know David's work have commented that "no one does "skin" the way he does". The whole key to his inspiration lies in the detail. "people have different features in their face that make them who they are. It makes them distinct. You've got to get those features to make it real".

Cooney has drawn many sports figures. His portrait of Mickey Mantle was personally signed by the Mick in 1987 in Long Island, NY.

David has drawn celebrities and world figures. His portrait of Pope John Paul II drew a letter of recognition from the Vatican itself in 1979.  Click to see Letter from the Vatican. The portrait of Chico Carrasquel received a letter of recognition from the White Sox.  Click to see Letter from Sox.  His portrait of Hillary Rodham Clinton drew her praise in a personal response from the then Senator.  Click to see Letter from Hillary Clinton.

In addition to the portrait work, Cooney has created original pieces of art that decorate homes and businesses. He uses pencils, acrylics, oil paint, and air brushes. 

"At home or at work, it is all art, and it's all something I take a lot of pride in doing right."

From Helen Hart Momsen...

Dave is an enthusiastic, happy fellow with a deep voice and a rumbling laugh. He has a love of life that is contagious. Quick to market his wares and share his talent, he presented me with a bumper sticker with the words It’s time! next to a picture of Hillary Clinton. His connection to this item? He is the artist who drew the exquisite pencil portrait from Ms. Clinton’s Senate photograph. Recently he received a note from her thanking him for the artwork—and for distributing it.

Dave came to the trade show to research methods that would allow him to put this portrait and others on mugs, shirts and more—as well as bumper stickers. He tested screen printing, sublimation and the new inkjet shirt-printing method. He is excited about his retirement from the life of a bricklayer—and his “re-treading” as an artist.

Dave is self-taught and has been drawing seriously since he was twelve. He became a bricklayer “for the money” and for thirty years he laid bricks by day and worked on his portraiture by night and in his spare time.

He uses 16 different pencils to create his masterpieces. He has drawn Mickey Mantle, Yogi Berra, and Whitey Ford—among other baseball greats. Many of his baseball portraits are reproduced in runs of 1,000 prints, signed by the player and then sold on QVC with a certificate of authenticity.

Dave’s personal favorite is his portrait of Lindbergh, which can be seen here.

What can Dave do for you and your gift shop? You can offer his superb portraits to your customers. For $2,000 your customer’s loved one can be immortalized in Dave’s amazing style—you can also look at a commercial application of his work based on what you have in mind.  Imagine sublimating shirts from the portrait of a “famous” relative for a family reunion! That would be a unique offering.

If you have someone in mind that you would like to market—someone that would do well on bumper stickers and shirts, you can talk to Dave about that as well.

David Alan Cooney at work

David with Jerry Reinsdorf

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