Thursday, January 18, 2007

Spotlight on Dan Giese

Okay, okay... you might be able to say a few things about my blog so far... (cough, I'm biased in my opinions a good portion of the time based on personal experience and knowledge.)

In this case, I'm biased because... well, this is my roommate and also he just happens to be probably one of the most talented painters I've ever known.
I mentioned to him the other night how much I loved this work "Phallus Along the Interstate."

It brings to my mind a sort of combination of Hopper coldness mixed with sharp angles, but I think what it really brings to my mind is a deep awareness of my own family's roots in the heartland of Illinois-- Galesburg area to be precise. This is based on a location not too far from there.

Jutting out in the midst of it all, an obelisk of darkness appears in silhouette.
The farmland area that I grew up near on the outskirts of Dade City, Florida, is also quite similar-- endless ranches, strawberry fields, orange groves and soybeans... then a sudden silo appearing amongst the nothingness.

Or, in my fave moments, an old graveyard on a hill overlooking an orange grove with wild peacocks running about.

We'd always be speeding in our friends' pickup trucks along the backroads to Tampa-- the same roads where all the famed Florida serial killers dump the bodies.

This is "Semi Enlightened", my personal fave.

You always have to watch out for the semis all along I-75-- which I have to do at 4:00 AM each time I take the rental car back to T.I.A. with each visit; definitely brings this to mind.

They just can suck your vehicle under with the backdraft if you follow too closely.
Overall I think this work reflects a sort of melancholy of the natural world set against a post-industrial wasteland-- a rural Americana, if you will, that is lost... each time highlighting a lone object set against a solemn background.

Perhaps it represents more than just nature vs. industry or technology vs. spirituality, but more of a statement of being solitary amongst an indefinable many.


A few other of Dan's works also remind me of a mix of Miro with Hopper, if you will... with a bit of Max Ernst thrown in.

Hungry for pomegranates and figs, or is it just that "time of the month"?
(The delicious and devious "Pucker" below at right)


Anonymous said...

Hey, Oly
Insightful and relevent comments. Where can I find out more about this artist?
Try for a bigger dose.

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