Daniel McClendon b. 1985 Chicago, IL
Daniel graduated from Western Michigan University with his BFA—emphasis in painting realism. Shorty after graduating he relocated to Asheville, NC, where he maintained this focus on realism and began painting full time.This continued until he came to the conclusion that his work was “fraudulent” due to the lack of a true and honest voice. This identity crisis led him to quit painting entirely. During this hiatus his mind slowly wandered back to the creative process and the important themes in his life. And, unexpectedly on March 21st, 2011 at 3:59 A.M. he had an epiphany. He rolled out of bed and wrote down the framework for how to achieve an authentic form of expression.
Daniel’s paintings are process focused and examine the connectivity of instinct, impulsive action, and identity. The work begins non-objectively in the form of a chaotic black and white abstract painting, and from there the animal— a central figure in all his works—emerges. These animals, created from a variety of colors, patterns, textures, forms, and symbols, take on the role of both a totem as well as the embodiment of instinct itself.
My paintings are primitive. Honest. Transparent. I tap into the instinctual nature of my creative process, using the animals as a catalyst, and work to obtain an open-ended, energetic, yet purposeful aesthetic. My work begins non-objectively, in the form of a chaotic black and white painting. But from that chaos emerges patterns, forms, and symbols that collectively build to a visual identity.