Who are you Daniel Castan?

8 juin 2020

10 years ago, Daniel Castan exhibited for the first time in the galleries of Carré d’artistes. From Bordeaux to Lyon, through Lille and Paris, his works triggered passion within his public, right from the first glance…

Who are you? 

"I have been an independent artist painter, for the past fifteen years. Formerly an independent graphic designer, I worked in object design. I never counted my hours in this profession. I had very demanding clients and this required major commitment. Due to this first graphic designer life, I preserved a work ethic, a taste for emergency and passion for mega-cities. "

When did you begin painting? 

"I graduated from the Fine Arts school, but it was only during my forties that I decided to appease this need for creation, after an existential crisis. To begin with, I bought some material, a palette, paintbrushes and then I gave it a try. In the beginning, things were clearly not the same, but I had this desire to continue and not give up, so I insisted, I pounded along, and this is how everything took shape. Following this, it quickly became tough to do anything else. "

Your encounter with Carré d’artistes? 

"Due to pure coincidence, I met Carré d’artistes, their galleries and concept appealed to me at once. I thought it was a wonderful opportunity to develop my work as a painter and progress in this sector, that I really liked. Therefore, Carré d’artistes became my Fine Arts School, as it allowed me to progress every year, during the many shout-outs in France and Europe and become the painter that I am today. I am a painter, due to this encounter."

What inspires you? 

"When I was asked to work on the urban theme, I took out old photos of my past trips in New York and Hong Kong. Graphically speaking, it was truly me, the verticality, escapes, exaggerated perspectives, there is a rather graphical side to both these cities. The lines of the buildings lose themselves in the sky, the large avenues seem endless and colors clash.

Following this, I rolled onto a re-designed New York, It’s not a copy/paste of an avenue or a piazza but a combination of my feelings, that I lay down on my canvas. 

I like it when things are hinted, when the spectator’s look gets a little lost in the painting and he gives free rein to his imagination…"

Why the palette knife? 

The palette knife is my favorite tool. It allows me to work with paste, larger forms and also draw on material. Choosing this instrument isn’t a coincidence, the palette knife doesn’t leave room for doubt. Painting heads me towards an abstract and refined representation, which isn’t pre-meditated. 

You exclusively present new work on little formats today, can you tell us a little more? How did you come up with the idea of this new technique? 

"I must admit something that I haven’t unveiled since my new life as a painter. People often ask me if I went to the Fine Arts School. Of course, I spent time in this institution during the 80’s but what I never said was that during these years, I never touched an oil painting tube. My masters weren’t Cezanne, Van Gogh or Gauguin. No, my Masters were Frazetta, Berni Wrightson, Stan Lee Comic books, the masters of American comic books, those years.

My dream, of wanting to become a cartoonist, create comic books during the 80’s in the Fine Arts school, was quite frowned upon. 

During the lockdown, I got to know my neighbor more, she works as a colorist for a publishing house. The immediate return to my first love, made me yearn to find out more about her coloring work. 

She colors the old-fashioned way, no computer, just ink and resin. An overhead projector reflects the illustrator’s black and white board on her drawing board. I slowly come up with an idea and a few days later I tried out this new technique. Painting quickly turned into comics, the embossing is certainly less present, but it looks a lot like Street Art. The end result looked appealing; thus this is the new work I offer you today.

And who knows perhaps a publishing house will fall for my work and allow me to make my 20-year-old dream come true: create a comic book… "