Blake Daniels (b. 1990, United States), a recipient of the Edward L. Ryerson Fellowship from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, has worked and exhibited across the United States, South Africa, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, Canada and the United Kingdom. His large-scale paintings map abstraction directly onto figure and space, demanding a reinterpretation of how painting functions within the conditions of the twenty first century.
Blake Daniels looks at the way a body is constituted by its surroundings, constructed spaces that are never as innocent as they portray. His paintings depict bodies and spaces that are constantly being altered, dislocated, and fragmented through the internalization of the socially built spaces they experience. Figure and ground relations must be reconfigured, and imagined, to account for the inherent hybridism that has arisen between representation and abstraction. This shift within Daniels paintings speaks to larger postcolonial conditions, contesting notions of pure race, gender, language and nationality. A combative shift of the body’s relation to space used to create identities non-contingent on linear narratives. A new ‘real’ no longer reliant on bearing the weight of fixed social algorithms. Left in the wake of late 20th century deconstructionism, Daniels work interrogates these fractures that oft constitute the ‘bastard’; inventing a wild and playful, yet astutely dark conception of his observed world