In our eyes Danny Fox is one of the most exciting names who has arrived in the London art scene in recent years. The artist with the appearance of an outlaw biker is an autodidact who found his interest in painting somewhere in his mid teens, inspired by the work of Alfred Wallis, who like Fox lived in St. Ives. Over the years he created a style which is unpolished and uncompromising, showing elements of early Modernist art, the graffiti aesthetic and a color palette that reminds of African art. Both the figurative, symbolic and decorative elements are slapped with great speed onto the canvas as if they were a sheet of flash tattoos (as immortalized on the artist’s own skin for instance). Fox’s figures represent boxers, horses, cowboys, snakes, fruit, transsexuals, strippers or patterns reminiscent of ancient Greek decoration, with everything blending together perfectly in the artist’s fascinating raw narratives, rooting directly from Fox’s own memory or personal history.
In an interview with DAZED Danny explains how in 2014 a transition took place in his work, when he moved his subject-matter from painful self-experience to the more uplifting things he appreciates in life, finding a way to stay close to himself as a person in a positive manner:
I’ve always painted from self-experience, using women and family as the inspiration, the typically painful and personal subjects in life. I just got sick of it – sick of my own bullshit. So I started painting the things I enjoyed in life; drinking, strippers, figures from history books, TV and movies. There’s still a bit of my bullshit mixed in with them though – quite a lot, actually.
Danny Fox was born in St. Ives, where grew up in a house very close to the habitation of Alfred Wallis, one of the best-known artists in a town famous for artists. Like his initial source of inspiration; Wallis – and although he rejects that he actively did so – Danny Fox is self-taught or as he states it; ‘Sat there and went for it’, starting to express himself first on paper in his mid teens. A general feature of Danny Fox’s work is the sophisticated awareness it shows of the strategies and triumphs of Early Modernist art, and in particular of the paintings of Picasso and Matisse, made in the earlier phases of their respective careers. In the last few years Fox has exhibited mostly in England: in the Castlefield Gallery in Manchester, the Cock ‘n’ Bull Gallery and Display in London, Faux Pas in Moscow and his work was part of the ‘Bloom’ exhibition in the Plumbline & Orchard Gallery in his birth town St. Ives.
Keep an eye on this exciting talent!
For more information and work by Danny Fox see here.