David O'Dell

“I like the look of ink on paper and the process of creating limited editions. Silkscreen is a unique look that can’t be achieved by any other medium.”

David O'Dell

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Longtime serigraphy artist David O’Dell shifts his silk screen printing skills into a whole new gear by zeroing in on Indy 500 racing cars and creating a unique series of limited-edition silkscreen prints that pay tribute to his father’s love of the race.

O’Dell pinpoints a specific detail or part of an Indianapolis 500 car from different racing eras, and then applies bold and dramatic colors to create crisp and clear images that change as you view the images up close and then from a distance. Juried as a 2019 Indiana Artisan, the judges described David’s work as “fun,” “different” and “impactful.”

“I do a photo shoot of the car and crop the image in such a way that only true fans of the race will recognize the car,” David says. “I interpret the image to determine how best to transcribe it in silkscreen. I call my style ‘Crop Pop.’”

David created the Indy 500 series in honor of his father, David O’Dell, a World War II photographer. “He was always a fan of the Indy 500,” David says. “After returning from the war, he teamed up with another veteran photographer, Jim Shields, and contracted with Tony Hulman to produce the official photography for the Indy 500. He did this from 1951 to 1957.”

Inheriting his father’s eye for visual detail, David took the first architecture class offered at Ball State University in 1966 but switched majors two years later and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in art with a focus on advertising.

While working at Image Graphics in Broad Ripple during the 1970s, David designed and hand-printed silkscreen posters for The Rolling Stones, and later for a variety of recording artists, including Carlos Santana, James Taylor, John Lennon, Cheap Trick, Diana Ross, and more.

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