While most people feel sorrow and shock surrounding catastrophic events, painter Dan Angeli of New York City finds inspiration and an increased understanding of the complexities of contemporary existence.
Dan researches disasters—particularly shipwrecks and storms—collecting a variety of images along the way. He is especially interested in visually documenting how these overwhelming events exist as fractured memories of the past while pointing the way to a foreboding future.
“The chaotic and turbulent effects in my paintings reflect rapid change, failure and overwhelming sensations,” he said.
In Cracked Hull, below, waves of water crash violently through a ship, tearing it into kindling with the weight of the unforgiving sea.
Fragments of the ship sweep dramatically across the lower part of the painting, carried every which way by an enormous “whoosh” of water. Dan creates fantastic movement in the textured bubbles and rush of murky, swirling, water—which promises ominous obscurity for the particles of hull remaining.
The three-dimensionality of this next painting, entitled First Attempt, is as eye-catching as the fact that it appears to be in motion. Sharp-edged rectangular objects seem to burst from the center of the painting, surrounded by blurry, ambiguous shapes flying at high speed.
Grey and gold colors give the painting an industrial look and feel, which is heightened by a number of rectangular pieces resembling flat wooden boards. The lively blue background brings an additional blast of energy, as if we are seeing an explosion of metal and wood in mid-air.
Last but not least, the vibrant colors are (in my opinion) the best part of Lavender Moon, below, with the segmented shapes coming in a close second.
This piece reminds me of a Claymation video, or the type of backdrop you might see at a play, where people in black clothes hold cardboard waves and move them up and down to give the impression of a moving, turbulent sea.
Although wildly abstract, there is clearly a boat—and maybe even an oar—present amidst bouncing waves. A fuchsia-infused sunset rounds out the colorful scene as the boat struggles to stay afloat in rough waters.
Make sure to view the rest of Dan’s vibrant artwork on his website. The catastrophic scenes will no doubt give you some perspective regarding your own problems, perhaps making them seem a bit more manageable!