You’ll never forget if you have had the delight of looking at a piece of work by North East Contemporary artist Dan Cimmermann, which often makes its way around the world, head held high, captivating all it touches. A notable project was his street art murals of vast scale in Beirut, and his love of creating in Tokyo and feeding off its compelling culture is well known.
Right now, a creation of his has found itself in San Francisco’s Modern Eden Gallery, currently hosting their eighth annual portrait show: Profiles. Wanting to represent a whole manner of different interpretations, their line up of contributors is distinct, with our Dan, proudly flying the flag high for us.
The Middleborough born artist owns an instantly recognisable style, which focuses on 18th-century portraits that have absorbed many elements and brought bang up to date. With stealthy amount of joy and detail for the eyes to behold, his work is fascinating: layers and layers of detail and meaning, by pen and paint, for the audience to unpeel. Noble figures are transformed, with inspiration coming from torn posters and graffiti on crumbling walls acting as faded memories.
In January, the artist completed a solo exhibition named Empire Hangover at Sidney and Matilda in Sheffield that caused a stir. The audience was enticed by his collage feel that walks a tightrope over the middle of street and fine art; of new and old. Here the themes were social and cultural with the focus on how Britain is perceived abroad and indeed how Brits behave abroad. It also covered hen and stag nights, English gents and hooligans, the North of England clashing with childhood memories, boarding schools, class divide, and Brexit & social behaviour, and ageing pubs; it was vast.
One of the works shown at Empire Hangover was a statement piece called Crash Bang Wallop, which now has made the long journey to the USA. It expresses our colonial past and takes inspiration from the old maritime portraits in Greenwich, replacing the globe with a skull. As the title suggests, the hero is not afraid to use firepower to get what he wants. Dan comments, “I feel a contemporary link to that and the toile of the show is the group of lads going into a bar on holiday, crash, bang, wallop and then leave.”
Our American friends can see Crash Bang Wallop in person at Modern Eden from July 11 – August 1, 2020. Allow yourself time to absorb the pairing of striking blue and mellow peach, and identify the little touches of anime that the creator is so marvelously fond of. All that's left to wonder and dream about is where on earth Dan Cimmermann's work will end up next.
Modern Eden Gallery
You can purchase Dan's art in the UK from Art of Protest in York.
Article by Beverley Knight