“The aim of every artist is to arrest motion, which is life, by artificial means and hold it fixed so that a hundred years later, when a stranger looks at it, it moves again since it is life.” – William Faulkner
There is nothing greater than walking into an Art Gallery or moving through an Art Show and feeling completely invigorated by a piece or collection that speaks to you. There is simplicity in everything and we try so hard to find complexity but complexity is a mere vehicle. If you break it down, what you’ll find is tiny fragments of very beautifully simple ideas wrapped into a perfectly flawed outcome. Art is someone’s soul on display and I applaud anyone who is willing to share that with the rest of us. So, this page is devoted to highlighting an Artist that takes imagination to the masses.
I met Daniel Edlen at Laguna Beach’s Art Walk at the Blue Laguna held the first Thursday’s of every month. I was invited by art lover and Exhibition Coordinator, Jessica Reinhardt. There would be 4 artists showing, each with their own voice. As someone who grew up with an uncanny interest in old vinyl albums, classic rock that was far ahead of it’s time – the kind of music that takes you on a journey, opens up your soul, inspires you to create – one could say that the art pieces Daniel exhibited that evening spoke to me. Miles Davis, Sid Vicious, The Beatles, Bob Marley, Bob Dylan – these are only a few of the musical influences he’s painted. Each piece of art is painted on the original album framed with the original album cover and while that itself is impressive, the paintings he creates on a vinyl record have a melodic feel. At first glance Daniel may seem quiet or shy but once you speak to him about music and art, his entire self lights up and it becomes quite clear why it is his art is so impacting. Asked when it was he first found inspiration, he answers with one simple word: sight. To him, the moment he opened his eyes to the world around him, inspiration was born.
Life gives artists a certain lens through which they see the world. That lens becomes a voice that many comprehend. I chose Daniel to be my Featured Artist because there is so much depth and goodness to what he creates. When I asked him how he paints, he told me he puts music on and lets it saturate everything around him and he’s taken away: He begins creating. Whether vinyl art or other creations, there is a melody in the work he produces. It’s sometimes soft and unassuming or blatant and enthralling. His art is reminiscent of the heart and freedom behind works by art giants like Warhol and Basquiat. However, much like the artist Constantin Brâncuşi that Daniel said he would have liked to have met, there is a stillness and peace that exists in his work. It’s as if there is an unspoken entry to the sheer joy that exists in unseen pockets of this world. While Daniel has a much clearer view of his life and a purpose to which he creates, with a wonderful wife and daughter that seem to only encourage more creation, his passion – his devotion to art – is nothing short of contagious.
Daniel Edlen | Artist, Vinyl Art
My time talking to Daniel was inspiring beyond words. His interview is straight to the point and incredibly honest.
His art is for sale: www.vinylart.info | He will be showing in several exhibitions all throughout the year.
Who is your favorite person in the world?
If you could study with an artist from any era – dead or alive – who would it be and why?
Brancusi, to understand the peace in his work
What city inspires you most?
What is your favorite sound?
My daughter’s laugh
What three items would you take with you if you only had 5 minutes to choose?
iPhone (music and baby photos), external hard drive (more music and photos), photo album
What inspired your first piece of art?
If you could, where would you most want to see your art displayed?
Tate Modern would be fun
Favorite childhood show?
Planned or spontaneous?
If someone said, “get on the plane and I’ll take you anywhere you’d want to go”, where would you go?
What does “passion” mean to you?
Being open to the Universe and being willing to follow where it leads
Basics – what city are you from?
Pacific Palisades, CA
Do you have a Bio?
And what’s the next stage in your vinyl art?
Groupings and Series I think.
Daniel’s Art sells anywhere from $350 and up.
Everything is original …
I encourage you to see his work, find a way to talk to him (I dare you not to be happy afterwards – he’s just a happy soul), and to EVERY Gallery Owner, this is art you should exhibit. It has character, heart, authenticity, and history.
to Daniel: thank you for allowing me to share your art with the world.
Daniel Edlen’s Bio Q&A
Who am I? I’m Daniel Edlen, artist. I grew up in Pacific Palisades, CA. I went to public schools including UCLA. I also took classes at the Brentwood Art Center. I now live in Mission Viejo, CA with my wife, 3 dogs, and little girl. What do I do? I paint Vinyl Art, portraits of musicians and entertainers on vinyl records made by the subject. Instead of Elvis on velvet, think Elvis on an Elvis record. I also do Liter(art)ure, drawings of authors in their books. How did I start? My dad got me into music, playing his records for me. My mom volunteered at the local library, running their book sales. Records were donated, but wouldn’t sell. So I got them. I’d learned to draw and paint at the Brentwood Art Center. I had the idea in a high school art class to draw with white pencil on black paper. Then, because I had more than one copy of records by people I liked, I came up with the idea to paint them on the records. I did about 10 at that time. Why’d I start selling them? In October 2006, a friend saw them hanging in my art studio and suggested people might buy them as Christmas gifts. The timing worked out for me to try selling them and then painting more. Through word of mouth at my wife’s and mother-in-law’s workplaces, I sold a bunch for the holidays. Then what happened? I found a couple galleries willing to give my work a chance. I’ve sold a good number of pieces through consignment. Then I began using online marketing to promote my art, teaching myself by reading blogs and what-not that made sense to me. As so-called social media sites have grown in popularity and usage, I’ve been able to sell even more on commission. The Hard Rock Hotel in Hollywood, FL commissioned a series of pieces for their high-end suites. Recently I’ve had solo shows in New York and Los Angeles. What’s next? I’m going to continue to create Vinyl Art, adding variations on the theme. As well, I’ll also work more on Liter(art)ure, marketing and selling them at some point. I’ve been working on the pieces for the David Lynch Foundation charity music label and have some exciting local projects coming up. Really exciting hopefully. Why does music mean so much to me? Music has always been a big part of my identity. It’s an important language along with words and images to communicate with the rest of humanity. Think about what your parents sang to you as a baby, what you and your friends danced to after school, what stirs your emotions at weddings or sports games… even what you might have playing in the background now. What else can you read about me? On my blog, you can subscribe to my updates via email or an RSS reader. I also send out a monthly email newsletter that recaps what’s been going on in my life and my art. Anything else? Peace.
Below are 2 pieces I took a photograph of. Both are for sale.