"I first met Daniel O'Toole almost a decade ago, while walking through the once-grimy Sydney suburb of Enmore. Peering down a long and narrow art gallery, I saw a man with a head wild blonde hair and a massive respirator, spray-painting magnificent faces across canvases on the back patio. I invited myself in, watching him work his magic as he explained his clandestine adventures across the city to help beautify its un-marked walls. I left with countless souvenirs, and have since watched Daniel continuously develop his art across so many different mediums..." - Morgan Maassen
1. Who are you?
My name is Daniel O'Toole, also known as 'Ears' as my artist name. I am 31 years young, and based in Sydney, Australia.
2. Describe your medium & process for your artwork...
My practice is inter-disciplinary although my focus is painting most of the time. I also make beats, shoot films, and take analogue photographs. For my paintings, I often start by taking some polaroids/35mm shots of my model, using large screens of semi transparent perspex, and various glass panels distorted with paint etc, to create an obscured and painterly image which I then use as a reference for further abstractions in the painting process.
Sometimes I am just painting from my imagination as well, or from a sketch, but often my photography is the starting point for paintings.
3. How did you find your passion? Who/what influences your work?
I have always loved drawing cartoons and faces since I was young, its just evolved into what I do now through my love of music and analogue formats. I search for a warmth and sense of spirit in the work, something very human and tangible. I love artists like De-Kooning, Richard Diebenkorn, Michael Borremans, Marlene Dumas, Tony Woods, Brett Whitely, Robert and Sonia Delaunay, Saul Leiter... the list goes on.
4. What excites you about your work? What do you struggle with?
Im excited by the alchemic process of using colour and experimenting with colour combinations and effects, using video editing software has been an amazing journey recently because it's so rewarding to play with layers and effects and see so many varying results in a matter of minutes. Where as on a canvas there is a lot more time and materials required to execute and idea, and there is no edit/undo so its been a refreshing process. I'm keen to continue pushing the perceptual boundaries between the realms of photography and painting, and using the moving image as a tool for creating still images which can be painted.
5. What are your goals? Where do you see yourself going?
My goal eventually would be to live over seas in a Big City like NYC or Berlin, and to be closer to the action in terms of the international art scene. I would love to be making large scale installations and more ambitious work as time goes on and I may gain access to bigger budgets. I would love to continue making film clips for musicians/bands, and see how far I can push the medium. Also, continue making albums and putting out records. Just keep doing it all, but on a bigger scale. I mainly just sell my work privately through the studio and my social media, so I guess connecting with some good galleries would be a big step for me.