Dave Burke was born in Boston, Massachusetts and later relocated to Los Angeles. From earliest memories, Burke recalls drawing superheroes and monsters, and in particular, having an obsession with depicting the perfect human skull. Self taught as a painter, Burke has exhibited solo and in notable groups across the U.S. as well as in Australia and Japan since 1994.
Early roots in "lowbrow" and an introduction to Ed Roth yielded Burke's own covers for Rat Fink Comix in the mid 1990's as well as a two-man exhibit with Roth in 1999. Dabblings in kitsch landed his work alongside Margaret Keane's in The Laguna Art Museum's "Keane and Keanabilia" (2001). The exhibit showcased early and current works by "big eyed art" masters. Burke's Polynesian Pop renderings have been published in such books as Taboo: The Art of Tiki and Tiki Art Now. Among the three-dimensional customization projects Burke has been involved with are the "Qeedrophonic" exhibit (2004), "100 Circus Punks Invade N.Y.C." (2005), and "Rat Fink's Revenge" (2006) at L.A.'s Peterson Museum. Burke's art has also appeared in movies and on billboards (as part of an award winning, art direction-free campaign aligning Converse with urban artists). It has graced the stages of industrial bands such as Skinny Puppy and Pigface. Most recently, he created the image for the merchandise promoting The Misfits 30th Anniversary.