Briefly describe the work you do.
My work synthesizes line, geometric shapes, rich textures and color to produce paintings that use both representational and abstract elements to create recognizable forms such as humans, animals and insects.
Tell us about your background and how that has had an influence on your work and on you as an artist.
I grew up along the east coast of Florida, spending most of my time outdoors exploring the forest near my home, road trips with my family and building sand castles at the beach. During one of those road trips at around the age of 7, I observed my mother drawing in a sketchbook; it was at that moment when I realized I wanted to be an artist. I don’t see any obvious connection that my current work is influenced by my childhood though, as I’m more focused on the experiences I have daily and the inspiration I gather from my environment.
The concept of the artist studio has a broad range of meanings in contemporary practice. Artists may spend much of their time in the actual studio, or they may spend very little time in it. Tell us about your individual studio practice and how it differs from or is the same as traditional notions of “being in the studio.”
Although I maintain a studio in the traditional sense where I create the majority of my smaller works, storage for paintings and materials, I often find myself working on location out of the studio creating murals outdoors.
What roles do you find yourself playing that you may not have envisioned yourself in when you first started making art?
The business side of art is something I had not expected to be so dominant and never thought it would take up so much of my time. I have learned to enjoy it though, especially when dealing with commissioned work and murals, it’s important to understand the financial aspects so that you get fair compensation for your work.
When do you find is the best time to make art? Do you set aside a specific time everyday or do you have to work whenever time allows?
I work on my art everyday, but I don’t have any specific schedule. The only exception is when I have deadlines on a project and or I have more than a couple things going on at the same time, then I will usually start painting in the morning and work until I reach a breaking point.
How has your work changed in the past five years? How is it the same?
My work has actually gone through a rather dramatic transition over the past five years, becoming more focused on breaking down the elements of the subject and seeing how far I can push that abstraction before the image falls apart.
How have people such as family, friends, writers, philosophers, other artists or even pop icons had an impact on the work you do?
There are quite a few portraits in the Geometrics series that feature people who have made an impression on me, whether through writing, music or philosophy.
Have you ever been pulled in the direction of a pursuit other than being an artist? What are your other interests?
Nearly everything in my life is connected with art. It’s a lifelong commitment.
DAAS is an American contemporary artist currently based in Kobe, Japan. Originally from the east coast of Florida, he made his way to Osaka, Japan in 2007, contracted as an artist for Universal Studios Japan. After leaving USJ in 2012, his focus has been primarily on exhibiting paintings and creating murals in his signature geometric style.
All images copyright of the artist and used with their permission.