Dan Baldwin’s exhibition ‘Fear Of Letting Go’ runs until 14th November at the Lawrence Alkin Gallery, Soho.
Your exhibition is called The Fear Of Letting Go – how is the fear manifesting itself and what are you letting go of?
I’m realising there are reasons why I look to nostalgia and memory in my art - going back to when I was nine and I was taken away from my father. It’s about letting go of all the past; everything is symbolic, but it has to say something to other people.
Your work definitely has a sinister edge to it, does that appear naturally when you start to paint or do you start with a skeleton and build a setting around it?
I like the juxtaposition of black with white – it’s not always sinister, it can be playful. We all have a skeleton… we will all die, but actually it’s the opposite, I start with an interior, or a base I am happy with and build up and paint over it and keep building up until all the factors are working in harmony. It may not be a skeleton, it may be children, a fun fair, a clown, all aspects of life (and death) until the balance is just right between everything.
Although sinister your work is brilliantly coloured, touching on flouro pinks and blues – is this juxtaposition bright colours with dark subjects intentional?
Yes, I always use candy pink and baby blue – I love colour. I was commissioned to make a painting by Max Factor some years ago as they loved my use of colour. I spend a long time mixing tones, candy tones mainly and then deep purples, blues, browns and greens – and
I use black a lot… I also love the contrast of light and dark in theme as well as tone.
Where can we see more of your work?
I’m not sure yet, I’m in Scope Miami with LAG, I’m supporting ‘Peace One Day’ in December, Teen Cancer USA is upcoming, CCA galleries will publish a new silkscreen and there are events in LA in talks for 2016 & print shows… two galleries want to show me in the future but I don’t know yet as every step has to be right. I’m 42 now and have been full time 10 years, it’s been 25 years since I went to art school and I’ve had 14 solo shows since 1997. I made a short film in the last few months which takes my art to a new place… My book Fear Of Letting Go is available from LAG and danbaldwinart.com.
Interview: Josh Jones