Brooklyn-based artist Dan Perkins uses tight looping geometries to create abstract imagery that appears to be digitally created but is in fact painted. His careful use of paint and color also allows him to play with the depth of the image, creating a landscape that is at once flat and 3D.
“I think in many ways this is one of painting’s essential paradoxes: A flat surface that depicts depth,” he observed in an interview with Art Maze Magazine. “Reflecting on that idea gives me the space to experiment and play with composition in a way I find visually engaging and perceptually challenging. In another sense, I am interested in creating a paradoxical whole. Something that claims to represent and encapsulate the entirety of an experience, while being a figment or mirage. In some ways, my interest in Mobius-like forms comes from exploring this thought.”
Color is also important in the creation of these illusions and is often the starting point of Perkins’ paintings. “I have a catalog of images and sources that I use as a source for color relationships in my paintings,” he notes. “I find referring to something outside of myself really helpful for understanding and making color decisions.”
His catalog is composed of personal photos, photos of others, and photos from old magazines. The images and sources all depict or reference the natural world in some way. From these, Perkins distills and edit moments of color down into unified fields. Starting with images of the natural world as initial source material, Perkins edits, crops, cuts and rearranges these sources until an image emerges.
“In terms of working digitally, much of my work with color is first sketched out in photoshop in terms of general color relationships, however all drawing, masking, cutting, and painting is done by hand,” he stresses.
Take a look at some of his work in the gallery below.