A Conversation with...

Daniel St. George

If you抳e walked by the doors of the fashionable Andaz Fifth Avenue Hotel in New York City in the past three months, you抣l surely have seen the golden hands wrapping around the city of New York painted by Brooklyn-based artist Daniel St. George. We caught up with the self-taught artist and asked him about his work, his rendition of the Oribe goddess logo, and his infamous wolf tattoo.

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your training as an artist.
I抦 an artist living and working in Brooklyn. I like subculture and comics as well as beatnik poetry. I抦 relatively self-taught; as a child, I read superhero comic books and taught myself to draw from the funny pages. I attended Ringling School of Art and Design in Sarasota, FL, but dropped out of the fine arts program in my first year. I think art, for some, is intuitive rather than taught.

How would you describe your art? How has the art scene in New York changed?
My new body of work visits elements of pop culture. I use these cultural allusions to refer to childhood rather than celebrating the iconic imagery itself. Through the use of text elements in my paintings, I begin to weave stories and simple poems together in a patchwork style.

As for the New York art scene, I honestly don抰 look at what other artists are doing that much. It actually impedes my ability to work and becomes very stressful梩he scene will always just be the scene卐ver growing and ever changing and always in flux.

What is your favorite work of art? Why?
I don抰 exactly have a favorite piece of work, but every time I see a piece by Alexander Calder梡articularly his mobiles and circus piece梩he level of balance, beauty and simplicity makes me feel like I am a child again. His works leave me speechless.

If you could create a work of art with any artist living or dead, who would it be and what would you do?
I would have to say my friend Asif Mian (who is alive). He抯 a very prolific artist. I抎 want to create some type of moving sculpture with him.

If you could design the interior of a salon, what would it look like?
I would design a salon where every surface was mirrored and the floor was white marble with black veins so that the client could see themselves from every angle梕ven from the ceiling. The stylists would all be dressed in white, and it would allude to old movies like Logan抯 Run and Barbarella厃ou know, that lush 70s sci-fi feel.

Describe your style.
Let me put it this way: If I were a car, I抎 be a1978 Pontiac T-top Firebird with a black paint job and gold accents.

How do you normally wear your hair?
I alternate between a neo-rockabilly mini pompadour and a Rotterdam hardcore hairstyle, which is just a fancy way of saying a shaved side with a long fringe that抯 worn slicked back. I use Superfine Strong to keep it all in place.

The wolf tattoo on your neck has become famous online. What prompted you to get it? What抯 the best thing and what抯 the worst thing about having such a statement piece? What was the first tattoo you ever got?
I chose the tattoo and the placement for specific reasons. I chose to have it tattooed on my neck to symbolize my dedication to my art and myself. I chose a wolf because it symbolizes leadership and independence while still belonging to a pack.

The worst thing about having it is that I get questions all the time, like, 揇id that hurt? or 揑s it an owl? when I抦 wearing a collared shirt and you can only see the top part. The best thing is that I never have to wait in line at a club. The first piece I ever got was a dragon on my back, which is now covered up by an even larger dragon.

Are you working on any exciting new projects?
I抦 working on a triptych of melting girls in bikinis and tentatively working on a digital media project that I抦 keeping hush-hush.

Describe your rendition of the Oribe goddess logo.
I like to play with juxtaposing concepts, so I decided to portray the Oribe hair goddess with another symbol of beauty and vitality, the rose, nestled against a skull, which symbolizes death and finality.

To see more, visit the artist's portfolio here.

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