Brooklyn-based artist Dan Perkins is known for his geometric paintings that remind of an Escher optical illusion, but with added color. Minimal, colorful, and graphic, his work pulls you in. Though at first, his work may seem digital, his art is made, in fact, with oil paints that are carefully placed on a canvas.
“Initially, I was working away from representation, taking images and source material and cropping them oddly, or splicing them into patterns,” recalled Perkins in an interview with Art of Choice. “Working through this process, I found that I was more interested in optical shape play, than necessarily questioning the image. I also found a more personal voice in abstraction that was less burdened by theory. And so from there the paintings began to slowly evolve away from image and towards abstraction.”
With bright colors a theme throughout his work, Perkins says that “color has always been a constant source of inspiration, as well as the unique space of a painting, as something that is flat, but has depth. That essential paradox has always been a great source of inspiration,” he says. “For me, the sublime and its shifting cultural definition has been theme in my work, tangentially or directly, for many years. I often think of my current work as attempting to describe impossible sublime forms. Forms that seduce and reward; hopefully inviting the viewer to linger long enough to slowly tease out their logic.”
Still, he admits that finding just the right colors is a slow process for him. “Most of my palettes start digitally: cropping, editing, distilling down colors from photos that I have taken, or gathered. I keep a running catalogue of source material, mostly digital these days, but occasionally physical,” he says. “By and large the images describe the natural world in some sense. Increasingly, I’ve been investigating color and light at night, nocturnes in a sense.”
Take a closer look at some of his geometrical paintings.