John McDaniel: Spiritual Gateway

Terminal B

Philadelphia artist John McDaniel recently shifted from painting on canvas to painting on sheets of metal. His two-dimensional artistic vision has developed into painted constructions of overlapping stainless steel sheets, perforated metal, wire, and brass rods. The work has retained many principles of painting including an overall rectangular format as well as the object's relationship to the wall. Also, his compositions typically feature surfaces of flat, painted color combined with stenciled patterns of leaves or geometric shapes such as circles and squares. McDaniel will further embellish some of the surfaces with burnish marks that seem like quick brushstrokes of reflective light.

In addition to these painterly techniques, McDaniel has also incorporated elements of drawing into his work. He will frequently incise an individual panel with numerous parallel lines to create an overall geometric design. Another, but more abstract drawing reference, is his use of wire and brass rods. He draws in space as the curled wire and straight rods are linear expressions albeit three-dimensional.

The combination of overlapping metal, variation in surfaces, and three-dimensional lines create very cryptic constructions. Each element is symbolic both purposefully and intuitively placed. McDaniel has said that much of his inspiration comes from his collective thoughts and life experiences including his spiritual devotion to Haitian Voodoo where the belief in one God and Loa spirits are honored through dancing, drumming, and chanting. In McDaniel's work, as the reflective light dances across the surface, there seems to be an internal energy, a sense of spirituality, and mysticism that draws us in.

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