British artist Dan Baldwin bridges the gap between abstract and figurative painting to create a landscape that simultaneously reflects reality, the power of the imagination and the private, inner workings of his mind. Contemporary painter and ceramicist Dan Baldwin is at the forefront of the new Young British Artist movement. His mixed media work is magnificently textural, ethereal and poetic, bridging the gap between abstract and figurative by creating images dense with symbols and layers of meaning. Dan Baldwin was born in Manchester in 1972. He studied Communication Media at Eastbourne College of Art and Design with commendation and received his BA with Honours in Communication Media and Illustration from Kent Institute of Art and Design, Maidstone. He lived in Brighton for twelve years and currently resides in the West Sussex countryside. Dan Baldwin describes his work as allegorical, because it’s very much like music, starting with a beat and building up the layers until the harmony is right. The beat can go in the direction of figurative or landscape but often settles somewhere between abstraction and figurative. Common motifs in Baldwin’s organic compositions include children’s storybook illustrations, images of war, skate graphics and Vanitas. Vanitas is especially associated with Northern European still life painting in the 16th and 17th centuries, and the relationship between Baldwin and painters from this period has been noted; stemming from Baldwin’s use of symbols such as the flower, the skull, the bird, and rotting fruit, to explore themes of life, death and mortality. I’m commenting on the fragility of life or death, both, explains Baldwin, the work is more about life than it is about the sinister and subversive. In 2004, Baldwin started creating pots when he doodled on a vase from a pound shop with a marker pen.
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