David Maes Gallegos was born on September 23, 1954 in Denver, Colorado. David won scholarships in drawing and painting, which aided him to attend California College of Arts and Crafts. He received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree with high distinction in 1974. Three years later, Gallegos earned his Master of Fine Arts degree in Painting and Printmaking from the University of California, San Francisco.
From 1978 to 1990, David stayed in the San Francisco Bay area and had numerous solo and group museum exhibitions. During this time he also worked with Tamarind lithographer, Ernest DeSoto. In 1985, David produced his first social conscious poster “Art for Peace.”