Daniel Donovan

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Daniel Donovan

Artist Statement

Being a combat veteran, as well as having unhealthy obsession with existential philosophy and science fiction, has opened my eyes to the how truly brief and absurd our lives are; every one of them a furious reinvention of the wheel. We are fascinated with who we are, where we are going and what is waiting for us. We have created thousands of alternate futures and endings for ourselves, giving awards for the most successful, poignant and convincing. The stories themselves are written to ensure the authors immortality, but through them, and our imaginations, we can exist in our own brief imitation of immortality. I work to give these concepts and ideas form, to translate our absurdity into beauty.

My current body of work engages with ideas of play both in regard to adults and to children. Many organized ways of play we create for children are nothing more than adult systems of action that have been sanitized of any elements that involve physical violence, harm, danger and sexuality or as often simply repackaged in miniature. When an individual or child is “at play” they are often open and vulnerable to suggestion and conditioning. It is interesting to me to look at the ways in which are minds are formed around the toys and process of play. sculptures can be a game, a system of play, using elements that have been created as toys and other objects that have been neutralized of their dangerous elements and refitted with more passive mechanisms. what ways might participating with these games, in a passive state of play and lowered awareness, act formatively on our minds?

Being ever aware of our world, or at the least aware that we are unaware, requires much of us. One can easily slip into sleepy minded compliance with our accepted ways of acting. Is it possible that a more awake and engaged individual will be able to rise above the ways we have been conditioned to think? I try to be awake to life, aware of how our society is constantly conditioning and influencing my actions. I do not want be a passive participant in my life. My artwork reflects investigations I make during my more wakeful moments.

I attended Green River College where I was awarded an Associate of Arts. I received my Bachelors of Fine Art from Central Washington University with a minor in philosophy of ethics and existentialism. I hold a Masters of Fine Art from Montana State University. I currently teach in the arts as well as exhibiting nationally with the Dirty Canteen. Members of the canteen are regularly traveling to lecture around the US at exhibitions or our work and other professional functions.