David Garfinkiel is the youngest of a nine-child family. His father was a woodcarver. Painter since he was a child, David Garfinikiel enters the Beaux-Arts of Warsaw and then of Cracow.
In 1932 he arrives in Paris and will be granted French citizenship. He often goes to the Académie de la Grande Chaumière and to the Académie Julian. His first works are close to Cubism, however Garfinikiel will remain tied to the subject. The personality of this “discreet visionary”, as he will be called by the critic Waldemar George, asserts itself freely in the Jewish themes of expressionist technique.
Painter but also photographer, Garfinkiel works for the Harcourt studio in 1934.
Volunteer in 1939, he takes refuge in Brives, Corrèze that he leaves for Lyon in 1940. In Lyon, his painting is appreciated and an exhibition named “French Provinces” (“Provinces de France”) will be organized in 1942. The consequences of the war are tragic: his brothers, his sister and fourteen out of his fifteen nephews and nieces died. After the Liberation, Garfinkiel opens “La Studio David”, a photo studio in Belleville where he accommodates his family and serving as painting atelier. His work “L’Exode” is purchased by the city of Paris in 1959. That same year, he is awarded the artistic encouragement prize by the Ministry of Education. He comes back to Paris after the Liberation.
In 1970, he is appointed vice-president of the Association of French Jewish Artists Painters and Sculptors.
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