Words by Monica
At first glance, you may think that Danny's work focuses on conveying a sense of anonymity: that with the absence of detail, whether that be body part or face, it can be challenging to resolve meaning. While his work does delve into the ambiguous nature of strangers and people in general, Danny desires to connect with people, explaining that 'connecting to others through a shared emotion [is] important to him'. His ability to convey emotion through the use of line and minimal detail is assisted through the way he composes an image - his use of muted tones and negative space helps us as the audience to perceive the isolated feelings that he intends to encapsulate. A Minnesota native, now living in New York, us Melbourne gals were so happy to get in touch with this motivated young individual, who we feel is not so different to ourselves.
Describe your aesthetic in three words.
Quiet, clean (mostly), and reserved.
Your art has a very simplistic yet beautiful way of capturing form, what is it that you enjoy about the minimalism in your work?
(Thank you!) It’s human nature to want to recognize yourself in art, so I am interested in clever ways I can make a scene or figure as minimal as possible and still get my idea or feeling across. I think the minimal line gives a sense of temporality or uncertainty, which I like.
Would you say your favourite subject in your artwork is people? Why/why not?
Yes, I probably would say that is true, I love to draw and paint people because I feel like there is always a special moment (movement or pose) to cherish or show in a different way. A lot of what I try to explore when drawing figures, is how I can show emotion with no facial features or very little detail. I am not the most social person, but feeling like I can connect to other people through a shared emotion is important to me.
Delving deeper, what themes do you believe your artwork explores?
Most of the time I would like to evoke an emotion- whether that be loneliness, impatience, sadness, boredom- I suppose it’s up to the viewer what they take from it. Not many of my figures have faces, so I’d like to think that it gives a feeling of anonymity, or that many people can relate to the body language.
What is your favourite medium to work in?
Just ink on paper. I carry around ink brush pens with me all the time- it’s really convenient to get lots of line variation without having to carry around paint. There’s also a lot of versatility with ink, you can make a drawing from it with sharper/thinner lines or a bigger painting with the previous lines as shapes instead.
After a particularly exhausting/stressful week, how do you wind down?
Just watching tv with my roommates or I’ll take the train into the city and listen to music.
Aside from your paintings, I see you also do a fair bit of photography. What is it about a landscape that persuades you to capture it?
I think my drawings and paintings have a lot to do with how I take photos, because I’ll often see a scene and just think “I wish I drew that”. There are a lot of weird moments when I’m just walking to school, and I might not take a photo of what I see until maybe the fifth time I walk by and figure out what type of cropping I want. I like the idea of everyone walking by a street or an area, but I have a little bit of it for myself. I’ve only recently started shooting film and it really makes you think about the composition because you wouldn't want to waste it.
Our cities are both considered metropolitan, although share quite a distance from one another. As somebody from Melbourne I’m curious, what’s your favourite thing about New York city?
There is always something to go see or try. Galleries are constantly opening, people are very competitive and adamant about making a name for themselves. Usually it makes me feel inclined to get out of bed and try to get some work done myself. I’m very thankful to live in an area where I can feel motivated.
Who are your greatest inspirations?
Toulouse-Lautrec, Ellsworth Kelly, Milton Avery, Jacob Lawrence.
Based on how different places can inspire avenues of creativity, where in the world do you wish to travel?
I’d love to go to London or Berlin hopefully sometime soon, but we’ll see.
Check out his work on instagram: @okniceok