Who is Daniel Reymann ?

25 juin 2020

Born in Mulhouse, Daniel Reymann is a French painter seeking universal painting, which may speak to everyone. For several years, he has been creating paintings where color is immensely important and where patterns are superfluous. Minimalism, spontaneity, and happenstance are at the heart of Daniel Reymann’s work…


When did your passion for painting begin?

«As far as I can remember, graphic and visual arts have already been part of my life. I have always liked surprising shapes and shimmering colors. As a child, I would spend hours observing the reflection of light in a glass of water. I marveled at the shape of coffee stains on the table, their delicate shading off. I would look for dragons and knights in the tile patterns with undefined shapes. When I was around 12 years of age, my grandfather who was a cabinetmaker gave me the operational foundation for drawing. He explained to me that one had to use pencil and make the most of all its possibilities: from the lightest to the darkest. I hadn’t thought of that. I thought that a pencil would only leave a trace and one could easily erase it. This revelation struck me for life. Later, one developed this even more broadly: there is art without contrast; I kept this information preciously at the back of my mind. »


Besides for your grandfather, is there another person who initiated you to art?

« Mainly my Visual Arts teacher at Ecole Normale, who initiated us to Art and contemporary art in particular: theory of colors, a golden rule, oil painting and mainly the emotions, which accompany this practice: smell of Case-arti, oil, petrol, grain of the canvas, the softness of sable hair brushes, so many elements which pander to these emotions. She made me realize that all my intuitive compositions are in keeping with the golden rule. Right from this day on, I had the freedom to create without building. »

You didn’t begin your career as a painter, what was the reason?

« I should have opted for Fine Arts, as my Visual Arts professor encouraged me to do, but I didn’t come from an environment where it was well-perceived to get involved with an uncertain future. This is the reason why I chose the scientific field, which offered me a more secure future. Finally, I ended up being a teacher and then a primary school teacher and taught French, as an alternative language. I don’t regret anything. I was able to start a beautiful family and had the time to paint, sculpt or even play music. It was a very enriching period, just like my passion for painting which fulfilled my life as a man and an artist. »

A memory which made an impact?

« I was still discovering the world when the teachers took us to see the Van Gogh exhibition in Strasbourg. It was magnificent. I felt as if we weren’t ready to experience such a vision. It felt as if there was more to it than just images, that very-profound incentives would take us beyond the what was visible. There was another unpretentious exhibition at the same time, on minimal art. This shook me up for good, just like the Van GOGH exhibition. »

What is your technique?

« I let fate steer my look and guide my gestures. Through various tools (sponges, roller or even kitchen utensils…), I work with acrylic and use all the tools possible except paint brushes, as I find it too easy to control. I make my way towards a painting without any subject, abstract painting. What matters to me is the confrontation between me, the pictorial material, and the tool within a set time. With acrylic, time is an important factor, which forces me to work with maximum speed. I love the unexpected, the choice it forces me to lead and the unexpected result it offers. I really love this, and it triggers the unforeseen on each painting. I change techniques for each project and each one lays the foundation for the following. In any case, I think I can trust the material, to imply unimaginable yet probable worlds. I let the material create enough complexity, so that several paintings are part of one. I don’t want others to get bored when they look at my work. »

You love experimenting, your ideas evolve, your way of expression too, why?  

« I used to wonder what would happen if one took away such and such element, which I find essential to paint. So, I sequentially and alternatively began removing painting or some traditional mediums. I painted on formwork boards, moldered wood, all kinds of scrap wood, terracotta, limestone. I also used gold foil composite and in which case, I always associated these with the simplest visuals, due to the contrast. I then removed the left hand to draw with my right hand. Clumsiness led to things I wasn’t aware of. Then I took away sight. I created projects with my eyes closed. All the trials were much more accomplished and interesting than drawing on sketches. This is how I learned to claim “mistakes”.

The guiding idea of all these experiments was to create constraints and have the freedom to go past it. I wanted complete freedom while I painted. »


If you had to give some advice?

« Always question assets, always experiment with new leads; always push the boundaries, let yourself get surprised by things one feels one can’t do, vary techniques for each painting and most of all, feel alive. »



                 ECE, Daniel Reymann                                                                DEC, Daniel Reymann