Crowd II- Danny Glass

  • Crowd II
    Danny Glass   |   2015  |   Painting & History of Art and Architecutre
    Making art allows me time to reflect on what I see.  Making paintings gives me focus to create a physical representation of those observations.  Visual imagery can convey a wide range of observations, even if the content of the observation is not dependent on the visual experience.  I’ve come to believe that rich observations can develop immediately in rare cases.  But more often, quality and content are forged after I’ve physically processed the imagery over and over. 
    I organize my projects around a particular theme and build a series around those themes until I’ve found I can move on to my next project.  Currently my projects have involved figurative compositions in various open and closed spaces.  I’ve tried to bring character and emotion to students working in a contemporary art educational environment; strangers passing by in crowds; and people who have shaped and continue to shape my life.
    My series on crowds began as a way of expressing my reflection on why I found observation so crucial to my art making process.  I repeated particular people or compositions of people in a given crowd across many different studies of composite crowds.  This process of coming to a final painted composition through multiple iterations of the same group of people creates a series of work that physically embodies how I believe memory is formed and maintained.  As I’ve tried to think about the unique time we live in, with countless images available at a single touch, making the choice to commit to particular images seems both more critical and more daunting than ever. 
    I am constantly conscious of the psychological gap between depictions of people I personally know versus the people I observe but have no direct relationship with.  Familiarity is an additional layer to play with in composing my paintings.  I also explore the relation between myself and those I depict.  Through the process of intense looking, I often come to have intimate relationships with people I will most likely never speak to.  I think that condition is interesting and one shared with many people who spend parts of their lives around strangers, observing and reflecting.  
    I also maintain a studio practice that includes various academic exercises to give my craft new insights and to keep me aware of the myriad of great artists across history and living today.  It is very important for me to continue collecting people and places whom I can turn to in order to create my compositions. I hope to create a diverse and rich lexicon of visual imagery in traditional mediums that speak to the present moment.
    Oil on canvas