Raleigh Rambles

John Dancy-Jones at large!

David Larson Art

portrait by Ian F G Dunn

David Early Larson was born in Raleigh, NC in 1955 and passed December 28, 2021. This page commemorates and documents his art, from band posters to large oils. David is especially remembered for the many Southern Gothic or expressionist pastels which adorn the walls of fans and friends in the Raleigh area. He earned a BFA in Fine Arts from East Carolina University in 1982. He exhibited in a number of Raleigh galleries, including the sponsor of this page, The Paper Plant. Raleigh Contemporary Galleries became his representative gallery, and he exhibited in several regional art shows.

David’s unique talents were displayed in a wide variety of forms. This page offers post links with a summary and images for major areas, with resources and tributes at the end. Enjoy!


All images are shared with the permission of  David and his estate and all rights to them reside there. paperplantpress@yahoo.com

Band Posters



from John & Cara DJ

Slide Pastels & Smears: A Larson Bonus Page

slide images from David’s estate


Facebook post by Alan Bowling with pastels


Martyred Saints, Madonnas, Angels & Demons


Small Press and Zine Illustrations


David Larson 2000 Calendar & Bio Pics


David Larson’s Dead Blues Guys & Gals

Dead Blues Guys website w Larson Drawings


Drawings Prints & Other

from Alison T

Bonus page: Stickers and the DEL Commie file

Oils and Works on Wood


two figurines from Alan B

Signs and panels

from Mary McV        Veggie Barn

Celebrations and Statements

Xmas pair from David N

Dead Dads Club, Lt Walsh & Karl

Dead Dads Club  video by David Larson

Dead Dad’s Club with Larson work


Media and Art Reviews



from Phil L

FB Tributes

 Though I was schoolmates with his brothers Steve and Karl, I did not meet David Larson until 1980 when I moved back to Raleigh. He was sitting on the front porch of a house on North Street that was at that time the home of Jim Shell. A few years later David himself was living in that house, starting to do large oils for a potential show in Chicago, and riding high on a wave of articles and reviews about his unique and powerful style of art, when it burned down and changed his life and in some ways broke the arc of his artistic career. Still, he continued to produce the gorgeous small pastel portraits that earned him a reputation with Raleigh galleries, especially Rory and Leatha’s Contemporary Art Gallery. I first saw his art on the walls of Karl’s house on Cox Avenue, and I immediately asked him to display it at my newly opened bookstore, the Paper Plant. These were slightly ghoulish charcoals and pastel fantasies. This was 1982, and David was already famous for the many many band posters he created for Raleigh bands ranging from The Cigarettes to COC. The Paper Plant sold a lot of his small work, and a place called Nightingale’s on Glenwood Ave. gave him a solo show. By the late 80’s a retrospective of his work at The Paper Plant brought in dozens of his pastels shared by many different owners, and enabled him to sell several large oils. David illustrated most of the chapbooks that we published, most memorably The Little Heel by Lee Moore. He illustrated many important Raleigh zines, from Scream to Southern Lifestyle to Lee Johnson’s infamous Eat My S***. When David worked at Habitat for Humanity, he used materials from there to create amazing, funky, and often hilarious outsider style assemblages. Yet he was a fine scholar of art and his unique style of Southern Gothic was most influenced by Northern European Expressionism. We will treasure his art but remember best his Larson laugh, his kind and loving humor, and the great bond of friendship among his highly talented ECU cohorts. His passing on December 28 leaves a hole in our hearts and lives, but his art work will enlarge and hearten the lives of many of us for a long time to come.               John Dancy-Jones

David Larson did most of the covers for Boone’s Seed Catalogs. Here’s a site (see below in links) he shared a couple years ago with images that have not been seen in awhile. From his gentler side, David could show beauty like no one else.
I can remember going with him to the old location of NCMA on Morgan Street so he could stand and stare at old masters paintings of young women to study skin tones. He was fascinated by how they were achieved.
The last art show he attended was the MC Escher one at the museum. David was a huge fan. Tom Lopez had secured tickets for us so I could take him. The lines were long, but it was rewarding for Tom and me to know how much it meant to him to see all the works there.               Alan Bowling
I’m sad to hear David Larson passed away.  He and his brother, Karl (RIP) will forever be Raleigh legends.  I first saw David’s work on punk flyers and then his paintings on display at John Dancy-Jones’  Paper Plant.  David had a distinctive style that was original and seemed very contemporary – very much rooted in North Carolina at that time.  His flyers for Stillborn Christians were a huge inspiration for me.  I wish I could find the image of his flyer with a NCSU vomiting frat boy with a pig’s nose and tail (find in Band Posters).  The Stillborn Christians flyer with the slam dancer was on my teenage bedroom wall for years and I still have it. David was rather quiet but a strong presence and he had the best kind of southern accent. He is mentioned more than once in David Sedaris’ memoirs. He can be heard in the live recording of the Sonic Youth + Swans show at The Pier in 1982, yelling for a Sonic Youth encore: “Play some more, Y’all!!!”  After his house burned and he stopped painting, I would still see his work around town on the back of street signs. He was an inspiration and one of my favorite artists.  RIP David Larson.             Bill Mooney
David Larson made an indelible mark on Raleigh and the art world. I made this portrait of him (photo at top of webpage) back in 2013 as a part of the Dead Dads series.  His statement about his dad (pasted below) was always one of my favorites.   Requiescat in pace, David.              Ian F.G. Dunn
“One time dad faked spanking me for something that got my mom upset. She was in another room, so he would get me to yell or grunt a little while smacking his hands together and chuckling a bit. He had a kind heart.”


The posts linked on this page present over 250 images of David’s work, an assemblage to which dozens of his friends contributed within a month of his passing.Thanks to all of them. As we said at the top, all rights to Davids art reside with him and his estate.

David’s personal Facebook page

David Early Larson Art – FaceBook Page

archived website of Larson work

Scream Magazine webpage with Larson art

Boone Native Seed catalogs – mostly Larsons


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