Dan Drossman’s work is a visual representation of the human condition. Historical elements of graffiti, cartooning, and abstraction merge together with his intuitive process to create a unique language. Marker, acrylic, and charcoal are tools used on canvas and paper to delve into the psyche with the goal of aligning the medium with mental states while giving visual cues. Questions arise: Is it possible to connect to a similar mental state day in day out? How does this translate in the work? What happens visually when we move into the unknown?
Searching for a balance is one answer. Searching for a visual language that teeters the line between abstraction and figuration, intellect and emotion, construction and deconstruction. Speed and pressure of the pen or brush comes into play. Over time images and patterns have appeared and reappeared via the artist’s subconscious. What meaning if any do we assign to this? It’s an artistic search for facts and fiction, a desire for meaning and an innate sense to create it.
Dan grew up in Chapel Hill.North Carolina, received his BA from Guilford College in Greensboro, North Carolina, and holds an MFA from The School of Visual Arts in New York. He has had solo and group exhibitions throughout New York, North Carolina, and Colorado. Dan currently lives and works in Denver, Colorado.
I LOVE TO PLAY
“My curiosity lies in the relationship between the visible and the invisible, and the point in which these boundaries meet. In my process, it’s the moment where unconscious intuition is confronted by conscious intellect. In the image itself, it is where abstraction begins to suggest figuration. It’s here where I love to play.”
Done in large-scale format, these works are primarily created with acrylic paint but incorporate other mixed-media such as charcoal, markers, colored pencil, pen, glue, gold leaf, and any other materials that will allow for a wide and diverse variety of texture and surface. The canvas is left raw so that I can employ a washy and stained visual effect that I could not achieve if primed.
These works on paper are created using acrylic paint, colored pencil, guauche, marker, and pen. Because of the relatively smaller scale in relation to the canvas works, they seem to be less precious to me, providing me with more freedom to cover up, deconstruct, and reconstruct the image, as well as experiment with new materials and ways of making.
These small-scale works on paper are created with pen, marker, and colored pencil. This mark-making is done at a very rapid pace, allowing me to remain in the same mental state for the duration of the process. They are immediate, intuitive, and unrestrained allowing for little to no analytical thought.
These drawings were all created using pen and Prismacolor Marker during a time when I had intense physical and emotional pain. I worked though my pain by making a drawing a day for an entire year leading up to surgery. They are obsessive and created with immense pressure applied from my pen to the paper. On many of these works you can see the embossing from the pen. There were many occasions where the pen ripped right through the paper. In my eyes, they are layered with pain.
THE INNER RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN
THE VISIBLE AND THE INVISIBLE