Daniel Dove: In the Studio

10 - 16 April 2020
  • Daniel Dove

    Interview: In the Studio
  • Artist Daniel Dove gives us a look into his studio, where his paintings begin and how they develop.

  • 'I'm looking for images that conserve my original feeling of the physical place, but perhaps in a more clarified form:...

    "I'm looking for images that conserve my original feeling of the physical place, but perhaps in a more clarified form: a collection of hundreds of virtual locations that resonate with a singular, specific chance encounter." –Daniel Dove

     

  • Most of my paintings start with an in-person encounter with something in the Midwestern Rustbelt or Southern California landscape, often a place that exists in an "edge condition:" the early stages of abandonment or decay of an architectural structure or an unmanaged boundary (like the outer remnants of city transitioning into desert, where both urban detritus and outlier experimentation accumulate).  If I can, I photograph this place in as many different light conditions as possible.

    I then go online and build a collection of images that are relevant or adjacent to the thing I witnessed in real life.  This often leads to internet rabbit holes: impressive dusk skies lead to "mothership" cloud formations, odd arrangements of found objects become a tour of the world's best "outsider" sculptures, and the like.  I'm looking for images that conserve my original feeling of the physical place, but perhaps in a more clarified form: a collection of hundreds of virtual locations that resonate with a singular, specific chance encounter.
  • 'All of my painting ideas are substantially hybridized, like an Anthony Caro-meets-Burning Man sculpture, set in a stormy desert populated...

    "All of my painting ideas are substantially hybridized, like an Anthony Caro-meets-Burning Man sculpture, set in a stormy desert populated by Slab City-style, ad-hoc dwellings."

  • Afterward, I draw in my sketchbook, trying to find a heightened version of my original idea by combining elements from my accumulated images. All of my painting ideas are substantially hybridized, like an Anthony Caro-meets-Burning Man sculpture, set in a stormy desert populated by Slab City-style ad-hoc dwellings. I often invent forms with the help of 3-D modeling software, small physical sculptures, and art historical references. I will draw until an idea locks together, roughly meaning that it depicts something plausible (although almost never actual) while possessing a pictorial integrity independent of the subject matter.  This often means that my compositions affirm tenets of Modernist painting (frontal orientation, all-overness, hyperconsiousness of support edge) while also picturing a vista suffused with pre-modern romanticism. 
  • Works on paper by Daniel Dove

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  • 'My hope is that color establishes both a convincing sense of form - volume, texture, material surface - while also...

    "My hope is that color establishes both a convincing sense of form - volume, texture, material surface - while also heightening the feeling of place, atmosphere, and time: for example, an almost-lurid smog-inflected desert sunset or ominous cool dark neutrality of an impending midwestern storm."

  • Once a graphite sketch is ready to advance, I need to work out the color world. For the works in which I use artificial light in combination with an invented color world, I have a small stage-box that isolates adjustable LED bulbs from my ambient studio light. This allows unusual optical combinations, such as the effect of blue light on an object backlit by intense warmth. Once I have a plausible lighting situation on my stage, I paint small studies on primed heavyweight paper. At this point, I can start to improvise color relationships. My hope is that color establishes both a convincing sense of form - volume, texture, material surface - while also heightening the feeling of place, atmosphere, and time: for example, an almost-lurid smog-inflected desert sunset or ominous cool dark neutrality of an impending midwestern storm. The lengths to which I go in this attempt betray my distrust of standard photographic color, which is so ubiquitous that it seems merely factual instead of psychological. Good photographers can avoid this trap, of course; as a painter, I utilize direct observation while attempting to discover expressive malleability.
  • 'Painters often talk about the value of slowing down and sensitizing viewers, but paintings posted on Instagram can be swiped...

    "Painters often talk about the value of slowing down and sensitizing viewers, but paintings posted on Instagram can be swiped through at the pace of selfies, brunches, and pet pics. Painting can't command attention on the terms of digital pop culture...painting is an offer to those who want what it can do. "

  • Works by Daniel Dove

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