David Amico was one of the artists who, in the late 1970's early 80's, helped put Downtown Los Angeles on the map. Loft space was abundant and cheap. David had a 9000 square foot space on Broadway, which he made available for artist's shows and performances. Among these were early exhibitions by L.A. and New York artists who became more widely known later. There were performances by the Kipper Kids, T-Bone Burnett, and an exhibit of David's own work with a sixty four piece orchestra. Another highlight was an exhibition in February of 1980 by a collaborative group called "Pleasure/Function" that included Peter Fend, Colen Fitzgibbon, Jenny Holzer, Peter Nadin, Richard Prince and Robin Winters. Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions (LACE) had just opened down the street, and downtown was rapidly becoming the focus of the L.A. art scene. A number of downtown painters were gaining visibility. Andy Wilf and David Amico were preeminent among them. These artists combined pop imagery culled from spanish-language "novelas", scenes from the over-the-top chaos of the street
and the tradegy of skid-row, with the then emerging neo-expressionist movement.
David first showed at P.S. 1 in New York in 1976. After returning to L.A., David was one of the first of this new generation to show in the Newport Harbor Art Museum's first Biennial, curated by Paul Shimmel in 1984. He showed with the popular Ulrika Kantor Gallery and the Jancar-Kuhlenschmidt Gallery that opened in a tiny basement room and also showed some of the artists he helped promote, including Kim Hubbard and Jane Reynold's (although in Jane's case it may have been the other way around ). Later with galleries including Newspace and Irit Krygier. David was included in the the L.A. Museum of Contemporary Art's first show in 1983 and . As the 1980's wore on, however, a growing preference for conceptual work eroded the critical support for painting, and the downtown scene became less attractive.