Welcome back to our continued series, ONLINE → IN HOME. This week, we feature Asheville, NC based Artist, Daniel Holland. We asked Daniel some questions to learn more about him and how the current state of the world has affected his life. Daniel is a business owner, husband & father and one of the longest running and most successful Artists we've worked with to date. We miss his energy, seeing his huge paintings in the front lawn of his former home near the gallery in East Nashville and laughing over many long conversations. Look forward to learning some more about Daniel Holland...
Red Arrow: You had your first solo show, in our first gallery space in East Nashville, in 2015 and we’ve hosted a solo exhibition with you every year through 2019. Since our first show together, how have you seen your voice and work, grow and change?
DANIEL: To me the last 5 shows I've done with you ladies can be looked at as a whole, as a work of art themselves. They don't exist independently, but all rely on one another to form the whole picture. Our very first show together, "Dirty Pictures", can be seen as the raw materials, piled high and unruly, the initial strokes of a painting that will determine the trajectory of what is to come. They are large paintings because they are large ideas. Grandiose concepts that I didn't fully understand at the time, but concepts that were laying the groundwork for me to explore over the next few years. As time has gone on I've seen those grandiose concepts refined, reworked, and eloquated. Ideas aren't left behind or erased but left as layers in each body of work, each one adding depth, memory, and experience. No single piece could have been created before its time, nor can I anticipate what is to come, but I love being able to look back over five years of work and see a continual thread.
Red Arrow: I’ve always called you an experimental Artist as you are not tied to certain media and are always taking chances. Can you speak more about how you decide what media to use for a piece and touch on what you’ve discovered along the way?
DANIEL: The mediums I use nearly always come from observation. Sometimes I'll be painting a house, or stepping over a puddle, or anything really and I'll notice that something looks like something else... I'll notice that some bleach I spilled on a banana peel looks like whale blubber and I'll make a mental note to myself that the next time I need to paint a whale I can just pour a little bleach on a banana peel, gorilla glue it to a canvas, and boom, masterpiece.
Red Arrow: You and your wife moved to Asheville a few years ago. How has that transition been?
DANIEL: Living in North Carolina has been great. We just bought a house snuggled way back in the woods. It's a really inspiring place. Life is easier so I can focus more on the most important things, like my wife, our baby, and art.
Red Arrow: You are a new Father, how has that fact affected your practice?
DANIEL: I love being a dad! Ollie is a lot of fun and it's great watching her little mind develop. Just a few days ago she started scribbling on a notepad for the first time. I love kid art. I can't wait for her to start pumping out work. :) Also, the only way it has affected my practice is that I have no time to practice.
Red Arrow: What is the first thing you want to do or place you want to go when things level out a bit more?
DANIEL: I want to go to England and Scotland. I've been on a big history kick lately.. And I want to trace our genealogy along the path it took through Europe.
Red Arrow: What do you listen to in the studio?
DANIEL: I can't really listen to anything while I'm working. It's too distracting and can even direct my work in ways I didn't want it to. However, a large part of my process is just sitting and staring at a blank canvas or trees or whatever and during that part I usually listen to ambient music. Masayoshi Fujita and Collen are both really good at creating a brain blanket without directing your thoughts anywhere.
Red Arrow: What does a typical day for you look like these days?
DANIEL: A typical day for me right now looks like burning the candle at both ends from sun up to sun down. I love being busy though so I feel great. We just bought a house and so if I'm not out running my business I'm putting together furniture from Ikea with Lauren, giving Ollie a bath, making art, painting our house, etc etc etc...
Red Arrow: 2020 has been quite a year so far. What do you do or reflect on to find peace and positivity during this time, that you could share with us?
DANIEL: Don't watch the news and be kind to the people around you.