Daniel DeLuna‘s paintings live in a space of contradictions and as such reflect the ambivalence many artists have in a world that is saturated by the digital images of a technological world.
In previous centuries the artist was the sole arbitrator of a visual vocabulary. It was the artist who brought the stories of the bible to life on the walls of the churches, mosques and shrines, expressed the growing wealth of the mercantile princes in Europe, Asia and the Americas, was propagandist for perpetual warring factions across our fractured world.
In contemporary society the artist has been sidelined. Artistic practice is now part of a system that values style over substance, the work re-appropriated by advertising agencies to sell product and a perfect life. We now live in a age that has seen a complex visual language, created over millennia, decimated in a matter of decades in a global digital revolution. It’s this dichotomy that DeLuna explores in his paintings. His pictures influenced by his engagement with digital media while simultaneously connected to an historical practice that goes back to antiquity.
Playing with software and acrylic DeLuna creates an abstract musical language that has a rhythm of its own, riffs on the past while being very much of the present. His use of geometric forms and expressive markings on a flat surface presenting us with a conundrum in which many contemporary artists live. The result is an aesthetic that is equally at home in the physicality of the abstract world as it is in the digital realm of consumerism. Here’s what he has to say about his work:
The work takes a nod at the history of traditional abstraction as filtered through and informed by the pervasive influence of technology on contemporary culture. Digital tools are used extensively in the creation of the work as I employ both common software as well as highly specialized high-end 3d animation applications. The gestural impulses, including erasures, as contrasted against the geometric, reflect my deeply ambivalent relationship with technology. I am searching for how to create meaningful aesthetic experiences in a culture where the visual is increasing debased by the image glut caused by our interaction with the digital realm.
Themes from art history that frequently organize style and approach in into broad categories defined by binary oppositions, such as the romantic versus the classical, are important, as I attempt to synthesize these seemingly contradictory ideas. I want the works to be emotionally resonant, they do not make up a singular emotional statement but instead have a connection to the flows, forces, textures, rhythms and complex relationships we experience in everyday life.