Always the iconoclast, Brooklyn artist Daniel Freeman chooses to rely on invention and narrative to reflect his own original style. He considers his greatest heroes to be Vincent Van Gogh and Caravaggio, as well as contemporary masters Red Grooms, Alice Neel, and Alex Katz.
Mr. Freeman’s training as a still-life painter by the New Realist painters in the late 1970s later evolved into explorations of figure painting from memory and the study of the the work of Piero Della Francesca. His post graduate scholarly work included training in fresco painting, which came about because of this respect for the masters of Renaissance and Rococo Art. This all is reflected in his painting today, which is based in a belief that invented figure composition has always been ’true' abstraction, guided by Cicero's maxim 'Ut Pittura Poesis' ( Like the Poet is the Painter).
In his early days as a New York Artist he worked as studio assistant for a number of artists: Red Grooms, Alice Neel, Larry Rivers, and Karl Schrag. At that time he was also an avid art gallery visitor and took advantage of all of NYCs museums, as well as out of the way spots like the New School, which at that time housed the great Thomas Benton “American Experience” murals. During those years he received two National Endowment for the Arts grants, published Down Under Manhattan Bridge (D.U.M.B.) Magazine, and became acquainted with Keith Haring, Robert Colescott and Andy Warhol. As well, he then curated shows for his magazine and had several solo shows at the legendary Semaphore gallery in SoHo and the Lower East Side.
Dan Freeman has shown with Allen Frumkin, George Adams, and Gracie Mansion Gallery during the 1980’s and ’90s. His work is in private collections in the US, Canada, England ,Germany, and China; and in several public collections including the Edwin and Edythe Broad Museums. He has taught in the South Bronx and the New York Institute of Technology. Today he continues to paint narrative figurative painting and publishes a collaborative endeavor online named Plush Mediazine (at PlushNY.com). Mr. Freeman's poetry collaborations include several with the ‘Unbearables’ group of poets, as well as with musician Lou Reed and prose poet Barry Yourgrau (featured in subsequent editions of DUMB Magazine, all of which can be found online at dumbmag.com. Vintage and reprint editions of DUMB Magazine can be found at Amazon.com and Etsy.com.)
Tyler School of Art, Queens College, Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture, School of Visual Arts, and SUNY.
Selected Public collections: Edwin and Edythe Broad Museum, Kresge Contemporary Collection, U of Michigan, NYU Fales Library, Rothmann-Pall Mall Gallery, U. of Maryland Museum
Solo Exhibitions: Tugboat Gallery, Prospect Manor, and 65 Fen Gallery, Brooklyn, NY., Semaphore and Tuthill Gimprich Gallery, N.Y.C.
Group Shows: Brooklyn Museum, PLG Arts, 40 S9th St. Gallery, Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Caelum Gallery, George Adams Gallery, Chelsea, NY. Angel Orensanz Foundation, Marissa Del Rey Gallery, Gracie Mansion Gallery, Exit Art, NYC. Tyler School of Art, Philadelphia; Herron Gallery, Indianapolis; Bucknell University, PA; Artist’s Choice Museum, Soho; American Academy and Institute of Arts & Letters, NYC; U. of Maryland Museum, College Park.
Permanent Installations: Murals at 64 Fenimore Street, Bklyn, NY; and Lincoln Place, Brooklyn, NY