From the beginning of his career, David Lynch quickly established himself as the Renaissance man of modern American filmmaking, an acclaimed and widely recognized writer-director as well as television producer, photographer, cartoonist, composer, and graphic artist. Walking the tightrope between the mainstream and the avant-garde with remarkable balance and skill, Lynch brought to the screen a singularly dark and disturbing view of reality, a nightmare world punctuated by defining moments of extreme violence, bizarre comedy, and strange beauty. More than any other arthouse filmmaker of his era, he enjoyed considerable mass acceptance and helped to redefine commercial tastes, honing a surrealistic aesthetic so visionary and deeply personal that the phrase "Lynchian" was coined simply to describe it.
Born January 20, 1946, in Missoula, Montana, David Keith Lynch grew up the archetypal all-American boy. The son of a U.S. Department of Agriculture research scientist, he was raised throughout the Pacific Northwest, eventually becoming an Eagle Scout and even serving as an usher at John F. Kennedy's presidential inauguration. Originally intending to become a graphic artist, Lynch enrolled in the Corcoran School of Art in Washington, D.C., in 1963, falling under the sway of expressionist painter Oskar Kokoschka and briefly studying in Europe. By the early weeks of 1966, he had relocated to Philadelphia, where he attended the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts and began his first experimentation with film.