Following a highly successful Sussex Art Fairs event at Brighton Racecourse in 2019, we are delighted to be showcasing 'Art From Dan's fantastic new series of fine art that is certain to impress our serious art collectors!!
Talented Art Fair Director Oliver Norris caught up with Dan to get a better insight into his art life and creation process.
1) Can you tell us a bit about yourself and how long you have been creating artwork?
Like many I have been creating art in some shape or form since being a child painting in the garden with my older brother. I have OCD which is far more oppressive than just arranging things in a straight line and art has really helped me deal with this condition.
I accumulated a huge body of work and started showing people desperately searching for a means to getting it in front of art lovers eyes!
I started selling pieces online directly to collectors all over the world from New York to Sydney, Zurich to Toronto and everywhere between.
Following this massive confidence boost I realised my work had some passionate followers that found my work unusual and engaging so I started attending art fairs and exhibiting my work.
Now I am delighted to find myself here at Talented art fair continuing to engage with as many art lovers as possible and spread the word!
2) We first met at Sussex Art Fairs event at Brighton Racecourse in 2019, how was that experience for you?
It was a game changer, a great success and I am hoping this will continue as I attend more events.
Brighton was particularly special as you were engaging with people who wanted to buy art and who loved art, that's why they were there right?
The Brighton populace as a whole is cool and they braved some pretty harsh conditions coming to this inaugural event.
Sussex Art Fairs at Brighton can only grow with its fantastic atmosphere, created by the collectors attending, the organisers and the artists themselves.
3) What made you decide to exhibit at Talented Art Fair 2020?
First of all it's organisers are also involved in Sussex Art Fairs where I had a really good experience and therefore have trust in their ability to put on a fantastic event, this is such an important thing.
Then I looked at location, I used to live nearby and often spent days at events in the area so I know that discerning art loving eyes are going to be in front of my work which is always amazing!
And finally some of those eyes are going to be curators and galleries which ultimately is the next way of getting people that love art in front of my work.
4) Your artworks are very intricate and detailed, what is your creation process and how long does each piece usually take?
So OCD is obviously a curse, but I try and use it to my advantage where possible and my artwork is one such way.
When out and about I am constantly hoovering up mental images of the items that inspire me so I have an enormous backlog of things I want draw and paint, so the what part comes easy.
The hard part is sorting through these in my mind and eventually settling on something.
Once the self doubt has been dealt with I lay out a sketch then start adding layers of colour, this is when the fear really departs and I realise the piece is coming together. Finally I add the human figures which is really a lot of fun... I spend hours upon hours on these works building up colour profile using pencil.
5) When you create a series based on a new theme, how do you decide on the subject matter?
I love finding beauty in the obvious but it often leads to finding beauty in the seemingly mundane, nostalgia really contributes to that.
I might start off by drawing a diamond which then hits the next idea like a toppling domino where I find a disposable lighter having some jewel like qualities similar to a diamond, with its translucent nature and vivid colour.
Then this gets me to the point that no matter what item you put next to a human figure there is an equality in the miraculous existence of literally everything, that's why I play with scale. Don't sweat the small stuff is the message.
6) What has been your most successful body of work to date?
The images that play with scale has been my most successful collection and like I say I've got much more to come, especially experimenting with different mediums.
Currently I'm using coloured pencil which is amazing as there is a disbelief in what can be achieved. I like to work in paint, gold leaf and ink anything that achieves the image in my brain.
Everything I do aims to delight the eye, make the viewer smile and then question what they are seeing.
7) What would you say are the positives and negatives of the art world?
It's an exciting place full of amazing people and its super humbling to be around so many talented individuals.
The down side is only a down side if you let it be one. There will be criticism, financially questionable times and many early mornings and late nights. However the reward of selling to collectors around the world, of meeting with someone to create a special commission or the joy of installing a piece in someone's home is a real buzz and makes me aware that I have to create what I want to create in order go be proud of the work I produce. Trust your artistic gut no matter what.
8) Who are your biggest influencers from the past and present?
CJ Hendry inspired me go pick up a pencil. She is an Australian artist who lives in Brooklyn but is currently in East London restoring a church for an exhibition in April. She is a technical genius to me.
Jeff Koons and his appreciation of those things that might otherwise be overlooked is very important to me. He is a conceptual genius to me.
You will know about Jeff but maybe not CJ, she is already a huge success but definitely a legend in the making.
9) We know you love to exhibit at exhibitions and art fairs, but apart from making sales, what do you enjoy the most about the experience?
Meeting collectors face to face and talking about the work, there is something special about knowing them which makes it a really special experience for me.
Other than that seeing loads of art and meeting artists to be inspired by. After an exhibition or fair I am bursting with energy and ideas!
10) What advice would you give to artists who are just starting out?
Try everything, ignore self doubt and enjoy the work you produce, that way it will be your best.
11) What have you got planned for Talented Art Fair 2020?
I have been working almost exclusively in coloured lightfast pencil since Brighton and I am excited to be showing some surrealist hyperrealism (love a contradiction) pieces that I am really proud of, from diamonds to disposable lighters... there is some beauty in even the most seemingly mundane of items.
Tickets to Talented Art Fair 6-6 March 2020 are available here -> http://bit.ly/2SkBdb1-Talented2020