David George Marshall (1936 - present)
Guardian of the Forest, n.d.
Carved stone figural grouping
12 ½ x 14 x 10 inches
Signed at back of standing figure: Dave Marshall
The artistic life of David George Marshall began when, during some idle time while working as a surveyor's assistant some thirty years ago, he scratched a face on a smooth riverbed stone. Marshall evolved the art form over the years and came to create not only intricate faces deeply carved in stone, but also full figures and scenes, such as a funeral scene complete with coffin, preacher, widow and a half dozen bystanders amid gravestones.
Born in Nassau County, New York, Marshall spent his childhood first in Virginia and then back in New York. He left school at sixteen and became a field hand. He has worked as a paperhanger, painter, mink farmer and in a factory. He also served in the Navy. Marshall carved figures from soft, water-shaped rocks, using as many as forty knives to individualize each one with features, hair and clothes. He also created animals. He made political and personal statements about such diverse topics as overweight people, pollution and gay rights, creating pieces with as many as thirty to forty different stone elements, including trees, people and architecture.
Marshall is featured in the publication, American Folk Art of the Twentieth Century, by William C. Ketchum, Jr. as well as other outsider publications. His sculpture has been shown in New York City at the Jay Johnson America’s Folk Heritage Gallery and the American Primitive Gallery of Folk Art.
Marshall lives in Godeffroy, New York in Orange County and no longer carves.