June 6, 2011

Paper Cuts Interview (Revisited)

In January of 2009, I was approached by a cut and paste, copy shop published arts and music 'zine based out of Pt Hueneme, CA called Paper Cuts to do an interview. The following is a slightly condensed version of that interview.
Possession is 9/10th's vs Do What Thou Wilt - Acrylic on 15 x 13 panel, 2009

PC: Tell me a little bit about starting out in Ventura, CA as an artist?

DD: Not too much out of the ordinary. I Took an art class or two in High School but was more into graffiti, album/flyer art, tattoos, and playing bass. I took some classes at community college and wound up getting some good grant offers for school.

I hadn’t thought about fine art as an option at all until that point. I wasn’t exposed to it as a kid. There was really nothing to keep me in Ventura so, I took the chance and moved to San Francisco.

PC: You eventually made your way to the San Francisco Art Institute, how was the experience?

DD: The school and The City were a life changing experience. I chose the Institute because they stressed less curriculum in the studio and more self direction and conceptual criticism. Also, Barry McGee went there. It was San Francisco, period. I’d be lying if I said that part of me didn’t go there for that reason alone.

For as much fun as I had growing up in Ventura and doing what I had done until that point, I think I found out who I am up in SF. There are situations and experiences from that time that have changed me, both as a painter and in my general perspective of the world.

PC: Now that you reside in Los Angeles, do you have more opportunities to expose your work?

DD: I never thought I’d like living in LA as much as I do. I have to say that so far, it’s my favorite place I’ve lived. Maybe I like it for the fact that I’m surprised by it everyday…even if it’s that I still like it despite what it can show you. People have lost their minds here but things still function. It’s surreal and it’s way too real at the same time. Very inspiring. Very, very inspiring.

As far as art goes, there’s as much going on here as you have endurance and outgoing energy to give. There are tons of galleries and events, it’s just a matter of finding those that fit your aesthetic and personality. It’s still not easy but at least there’s room to explore.

PC: From what you have shown me your acrylic paintings have a strong stroke with the majority of the color choices from a semi-dark pallet. Is this a natural intention or a choice due to a mood or theme?

DD: Both. Even in pieces I’ve done that take place during daylight or under artificial lighting, there is always a clash and balance between dark and light. I like contrast, and not-contrast.

PC: You also do some great ink work that has a graphic design flare to it, but still keeps an artistic foundation. What is your favorite medium?

DD: I am a graphic artist by day and a painter by night. I’ve experimented with most every medium and my favorite is painting, hands down. There’s not even a close 2nd.

PC: What or who are some of your inspirations when it comes to your art?

DD: The biggest inspirations on my work are not visual artists, it’s Tom Waits and Charles Bukowski. I will also fly the flannel for Mike Watt forever. Oh yeah… and The Dude.

PC: Any artists that are catching your eye?

DD: I’m always changing my mind on that topic, there’s always something new. I go to a lot of openings and galleries. I’m always checking out websites and publications. I’m busy walking around LA seeing a lot of non art, everything catches my eye.