Before undertaking a primary career as a teacher, librarian, and archivist, Dave Pibel was part of the U.S.A. Marine Corps (1953-1956) and U.S.A. Peace Corps (Nigeria, 1963-1965). Pibel has been exploring two-dimensional and three-dimensional wood relief carvings since 1966 and started carving gay erotica circa 1992. Many vignettes emphasize gays in various situations, mainly in an effort at humor. For nine consecutive years, he participated in the Tom of Finland Art & Culture Festival.
Pibel has been surviving HIV since 1981.