artnet Asks: Danny Minnick
This painter depicts skateboard culture in De Kooning–like brushstrokes.
Danny Minnick is a skateboarder, stuntman, director, artist, and actor based in the Los Angeles area. While working as an on-camera stunt double for Olympic gold medalist Shawn White in 2006, Minnick pulled all of the ligaments in his left ankle, forcing him to step away from skating in order to heal. His close friend showed him how to stretch canvases, and let him hang out in her artist studio on the condition that he paint. Shortly after, his paintings were picked up for his first gallery exhibition. Drawing on developments of street and urban culture in contemporary art in the last half century, Minnick’s pulsating compositions are layered with levels of oil paint, symbolic imagery, and bubbled text. The boldness of his brushstrokes have a De Kooning quality, speaking to his athleticism and interest in skate culture. His work is currently on view in a group exhibition until October 20 at Gallerie Sparta in West Hollywood.
When did you know you wanted to be an artist?
When I heard the word artist. I’ve always had a creative impulse inside me from early childhood. When I was able to express this, I knew I had found a calling.
What inspires you?
I’m inspired by the uniqueness of life around me: my day, my family, friends, women, and music.
If you could own any work of modern or contemporary art, what would it be?
If I could own any work it would be Barnett Newman’s sculpture Broken Obelisk in Red Square on the campus of the University of Washington, and for good measure, let’s throw in The Card Players by Paul Cézanne, Basquiat’s Dust Heads, and Keith Haring’s mural Crack is Wack.
To add to my fantasy collection: a Julian Schnabel collaboration using [my] skateboarding films. They would be stills of my tricks blown up large, and then Schnabel and I would work on them. Example: Chad Muska’s cover for Transworld Magazine of him lipsliding down a two-story building.
What are you working on at the moment?
Wait and see. It’s never been done. I am also working on taking my original oil paintings and reproducing them on paper in black and white and then re-painting them with oil and oil sticks to then place them onto brick walls of buildings around LA as street art. Then I let them season with the elements for six months….then I go back and remove them, and they have an imprint of the actual wall etched into the paper surface. Back to the studio to re-create the essence of the brick wall, so the finished painting appears to be cut out of a brick wall. Street art!
When not making art, what do you like to do?
Go to the movies, drink coffee, ride my skateboard up hills, and as a finalist at the Actors Studio. I go there to observe the greatness.
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