Friday, August 8, 2008

Auto Expressions - The Art of Dan Brown

This afteroon, I was rereading the June 2008 issue of RebelRodz that my 17 year old son picked up for me at a local auto parts store. I ran across an interesting article that I had overlooked the first time I looked through the magazine.

The article contained a story about an artist that is actually somewhat "local" for me. The young artist (27 years old) lives in Troy, Ohio. On his website, Dan Brown has the following to say about his art:

On the surface it seems so simple. Burnouts, horsepower, loud exhaust. These things make me happy. They always have.

I often encourage people to step back and then take a closer look when viewing my work. My technique at first glance looks simple. It sometimes even looks photo-realistic. But upon getting closer, the image breaks apart into loose brushstroke. You can't help but to wonder if you are still seeing what you saw from a distance.

Although I hate to admit it, I did paint a picture of a lighthouse. It was in school while I was studying to learn how to paint. I did it my junior year at Goshen College and I think it's even still hanging in my parents living room. I've done abstraction, landscapes, portraits. I've even done a seemingly angst filled painting of a shadowy figure curled up in pain sitting in flames (now that's art!). I never would have thought that cars would be be a viable subject for fine art. (At least that's not what I was told) So why paint them? Why glorify something that is man-made? Why would anyone replace their lighthouse with a Lincoln?

There are many reasons I decided that cars made sense for me. If someone asks me "why?", I usually will give them a simple answer. "I grew up around cars", "It gives me something to talk about", I never get tired of looking at cars". Again, these are often easy answers to something that really isn't that simple. Finding a direction is one of the toughest things for an artist to do. And although there are many more reasons for what I have chosen do, just as important is that loud exhaust is still cool. Doing burn-outs makes me happy. Art needs passion.

You can check out more of Dan's work at