It only takes a few minutes of conversation with Daniel Anderson to understand why he considers himself to be, above all else, an “idea person.” He is continually seeking to expand and evolve his own potential, pushing the creative boundaries of both his mind and his materials with an energy that is palpable in his work. Daniel’s constant flow of ideas results in a remarkable rate of production, and he concedes to feeling limited only by his access to materials. Despite highly cerebral concepts, Daniel’s work (which includes oil paintings, sculpted canvases, and high-concept installations) forms an overall minimalist expression, encasing layers of mesmerizing subdivisions. Exploring the depths of energy, movement, color, light, and form, Daniel’s imaginative work pursues the common thread within these elements while still offering “an individualized narrative unique to each viewer.” Narratives and storytelling are at the heart of Daniel’s visualizations, and he is passionate about communicating his unique concepts through equally unique methods such as sculpted canvases and chromed sculpted canvases. Building connections with those who share his vision is another of Daniel’s passions, and he is excited to create lasting relationships with supporters of his work. When he is not actively developing new concepts and methods, Daniel is busy meeting with investors, connecting with his larger-than-ever audience, and writing. In his interview with the ART of, Daniel admits that he is at an extremely exciting point in his career, and looks forward to connecting with potential investors and project collaborators.
TAO: How did you get your start as an artist?
Daniel Anderson (DA): Well I have a little bit of a Cinderella story which is pretty funny. My mom rigged a coloring contest that I never won. Mother’s instinct, I guess. I was very observant, I always used to look around and observe things. So with the coloring contest, she self-addressed a beautiful letter to me (not that I had any grammatical standards at 7 years old) along with a huge box of crayons, saying I won first place in the supermarket coloring contest. My brother actually legitimately won second, but I illegitimately won first. So I bought all these drawing books, and then later I actually won a bunch of contests and got a lot of accolades. I took accelerated classes, one thing led to another, and I got a scholarship to Syracuse University, for Fine Art, and I’ve continued with it ever since.
TAO: Is there a particular way that you like to describe or classify your style?
DA: I’m very influenced by Dali and Picasso, and I love surrealism, cubism, and futurism. All of my work basically holds the common thread between motion and energy as they relate to color, light and form. There’s energy in everything, and I love to explore it, to create original ideas about energy and movement. I love to alter form and get into dimensional alterations like surrealism, which is rooted in the deconstruction of matter and the breakdown of material, surfaces, and objects as we know them. But I actually have a platform and my own coined term: it’s called supreme abstraction, which is a hybrid of surrealism, cubism, and futurism, as it relates to energy and form and movement, with the elements of light, color, and form, and a even a little of abstract expressionist. On a secondary platform I have many high-concept visualizations that get into storytelling and narrative, which I call “epoch visions,” meaning: “pertaining to a time period.” Those are my two most notable platforms. The oil paintings, as collected as they are, and as theoretically parallel as they are to my other works, I keep them limited to one or two a year, and probably will do a surrealist painting every two or three years. I definitely see myself as an oil painter, but I guess you could say I’m a visionary
TAO: Can you tell us more about your vision, and why you consider yourself to be “an idea person”?
DA: I see myself as a visual thinker and a problem solver because my mind interprets things in so many visual manners. I think my mind organizes this information into “problems,” sometimes very mechanical and complex problems, and then sometimes I get a beautiful execution. There’s a unique interplay and narrative that exists within all the visual information that I process, and I’m grateful for this experience. Conveying this to others is really the joy of an artist – you make things so others can feel that same energy and expansion. And there’s a mystique with how you did it. I take progressive pictures of my work, but they aren’t going to be shown until a much later date because I like to keep a sense of mystery: “How did the artist paint this, in what manner?”
TAO:Is there a particular medium that allows you to be more expressive with your vision?
When I paint, as complicated as the painting might be, it’s really just an expansion of energy that I’m putting on the canvas, so I don’t like to stay in one style. I’ll visualize movement to be complex forms and I’ll express them in whatever ways my mind is seeing. I don’t paint what is there, I paint what I see is there, and what I feel is there. So I’m not going to paint an apple photo realistically, I want to paint the apple and make you look at it totally differently. I visualize forms and objects in various shapes and altered states, and play with the physical make-up of form. I think my vision is very different not only in making the pieces, but also because I have a vision to connect them. A painting will adapt into a sculpture, and into a mixed medium piece, and throughout my life I hope to show the connectivity of my work.
TAO:You approach your work very intellectually and methodically. Does your process begin with a high level of planning and organization?
DA: I literally have the next 60 years of my life planned, ha ha. I think I can really organize my thoughts because I’m always having ideas. I jot them down and have files where I organize them. I always get new ones and I’m always creating, so it’s up to dealers, society, and I guess my managers to decide what they expose when. I don’t really want my ideas to be controlled, but I like them to be organized so I still evolve the work smoothly, that way I’m not going from one totally different style to another.
TAO:Is there anything you do that especially boosts your creativity? How do you keep the ideas coming?
DA: It’s really just life, and passion and energy. I let my mind evolve and be on autopilot. I guess that’s not so romantic; I wish I could say I had a muse who inspires me, but you know it’s really just creative energy. Sometimes I’ll just visualize energy, and I really seem to see and feel it. I almost feel like a conduit for it, and I’m constantly trying to catch up. I always say that it will take my hands half my life to catch up to my mind, and it will take my mind the other two halves of my life to catch up to my imagination. Obviously I’ll never be caught up because there are three halves.
TAO: When you are working does it feel that you can’t keep up with your thoughts?
DA: You know it’s funny, because that never happens. I’m in my own zone, and it happens at its own pace. And at the end of each day when I look at the work, I test it in different lightings to really look at the movement, energy, contrast, and color, I’ll say to myself: “Let’s get this done.” But I never feel rushed or scatterbrained; I really compartmentalize and focus with intensity. But there is so much to do that I look forward to the day where there’s more people managing each project, and I’m just creating as much as I can.
TAO: Although your platforms are varied and your works are all unique, do you have a favorite piece?
DA:I think I like my oil paintings the best, because there’s so much to look at. As far as creation goes, and in terms of collectability, there’s really nothing like an oil painting. And there’s something in the very raw under-drawings, an experience that only I have as the artist. But as far as creating an impact with people and making them feel the expression of the work, there’s nothing like telling a story through installations, because you don’t have a style to be biased with or prejudice to. When I’m telling stories, it excites me to share visuals that people have never seen, that are so original and intense. To me, that’s such a unique experience. Telling stories through such a visual capacity is something I’m really grateful to be able to do, and something I love experiencing myself. To me it’s so profound, and I’m really grateful for this ability.