David Shainberg (1932-1993) was primarily known as a renowned psychoanalyst and psychoanalytic author in New York City from the 1960s to the 80s. Born in Memphis, he graduated from the Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons and trained as a psychoanalyst at the American Institute for Psychoanalysis. He became Dean of Education at the Postgraduate Center for Mental Health, NYC, and editor of the Psychoanalytic Journal. Among his many publications, David authored a book, The Transforming Self: New Dimensions in Psychoanalytic Process, (1973), a book that was precursor to his contributions in the fields of psychoanalysis and spirituality.

During his professional practice, he was also a leading force behind the integration of eastern and western philosophies in the understanding of consciousness and experience. The first to bring psychoanalysts and eastern spiritual leaders together, he collaborated with Jiddu Krishnamurti and David Bohm in videotaped discussions called “The Power of Illusion,” later published in the 1979 book, The Wholeness of Life.

Throughout and after his teaching and practice, he was also an artist of formidable talent. In 1981, David left his psychoanalytic practice to devote himself fulltime to painting. He was not only prolific but painted with a vigorous and passionate brush. The power, the drive, and his restlessness remained throughout the next dozen years. At the time of his death in December 1993, David was living with his wife, Catherine de Segonzac Shainberg and his young son, Sam. Today, Catherine Shainberg is a world renowned expert on Kabbalah, the power of dreaming, and the transformation of the self through the use of imagery. Sam is an emerging film maker.

As an artist, David used abstract expressionism with total release, and the intensity of his creative process is poignantly evident in his paintings. David created landscapes and illusions of figures with a striking sense of energy and mood. In his words, “The painting is both something made and a metaphor for all making.” He believed each painting emerged according to its own principles of formation, and that it built itself out of its own primal elements. He was simply its channel. Complex and so simple at the same time, his works capture strikingly familiar images, questions, riddles, colors and gestures and convey them in vivid formlessness that cannot be forgotten easily. The images remain in the eye and in memory as flashes of passionate color and saturated energy. They convey through color and stroke their own sound and language.

Shared on POBA by Provincetown Art Association and Museum.

David Shainberg's Portfolios