Danielle Siegelbaum is a wildly creative artist. Working in textiles, paint, sculpture, mixed media, and more, she creates moving works of art. “Primitive Occidental Art” are the words that Danielle uses to describe her work. Her art is to deviate with irony and cynicism the incoherences of our society, mixing figurative elements and references from a multitude of cultures. They work together a bit like riddles or rebus.
Tell us more about your previous careers in textile work and publishing work.
Working with textiles was liberating because it allowed me to express myself with shapes, colors, multicultural references relying on a theme or not. Balancing the elements when designing textiles is key. In my mind, textiles must also integrate art…
Miro, Dubuffet, Kandinsky, Mondrian were influential to my work and at a young age I recognized that I was and am in fact a sponge. I am inspired by all kinds of stimuli: the news, a movie, street life, people’s styles, the mix of images and textures life is made of and, finally, serendipity.
My publishing work in comparison was somewhat frustrating because of the expected constraints, yet its narrative aspect has informed my paintings. As one builds a story, the personal seeps in. I particularly like treating the subject of relationships: cruelty, subtlety, cynicism, love, hate, and the center of it all, family. These are universal themes. Humor, irony, derision are also important components in my paintings.
What about your conceptual process? Do you start with an idea or theme or do you simply create and see where your imagination takes you?
A combination of both. As a story-teller I build up the narrative. As it becomes more complex it generates new questions in the viewer’s mind. One’s imagination should be engaged at all times.
Are you hoping to make any statements to your audience? What kind of reaction/emotion are you hoping your viewers will walk away with?
I want people to relate to my paintings, feel complicit. I believe my work to be provocative. When I started it definitely was more graphically inclined. With time it has become more figurative. Each person will interpret my paintings in his or her own way. Questions are raised but we are not sure we will receive answers. This is what creates the tension, and tension is essential to art.
My work is about being very direct, fluid and spontaneous, unapologetically emotional, anything but conceptual.