RIOT ART GALLERY: A curated selection of art for the next generation collector

The figure of Emotion: An interview with Daniel Segrove

InterviewsErika Belavy

This week we have the pleasure of featuring the works of Daniel Segrove.  Based in San Francisco, Daniel's work takes us on a journey to explore his perspective on life, identity, and empathy. He paints and draws people who are close to him or if they have a story he can relate to. His style consists of meticulous studies of anatomy and form, as well as pieces that explore a more emotional and expressive theme.

Daniel tries to capture an emotion or narrative of the figures he draws and paints. He doesn't consider his work finished until he has captured a certain emotional energy. Mixing mediums like charcoal, acrylic, and ink in his art, Daniel creates interesting and beautiful layers in his work; illustrative of the many layers in human life. We had a chat with Daniel to learn more about his work.

There is something very poetic about your work. How did you develop your style?

I think developing a personal style has to do with a lot of intuitive decision making. I try to create work with my "gut" and jumping directly into the creative process adapting to the image as I go along. It is very important to me to be aware of the beautiful marks and textures that happen along the way in creating a work of art. I try not to over work a piece  because in doing so I start to lose the spontaneous energy most artwork has in the beginning stages of the work. A lot of artists as well as myself struggle with this idea of when to stop. My style really developed around this idea of knowing when to call it quits and when any further information/rendering starts to hurt instead of help my work.

What influences/inspires you?

I live in San Francisco, California and I would have to say the city inspires me a lot. You see a lot of interesting gritty textures and colors walking around the city that I personally find beautiful and try to incorporate into my work. Also many great artists definitely influence my work such as Egon Schiele, Cy Twombly, Patrick Graham, and Nicolai Fechin just to name a few. I feel these artists really have a great way of capturing expression, whether that is inner self-expressive abstract markings or outer physical expression with their rendering. I try to capture both in my work to create a interesting balance.

What is your creative process when you're starting a new piece?

As I said earlier when I start creating it has to do with intuitive decision making. Being aware of things I find visually stimulating. I really try not to over plan an artwork with lots of smaller studies and thumbnails but instead jumping directly into the work. I feel by doing this it creates a more fluid work that has more impact than one that is more rigid and structured. I also try to have a lot of self expression in my work. At times I feel that my artwork isn't about the figure like most portraits are but instead the figure is just a vehicle for me to project my own emotion and ideas into the artwork.

What superpower would you have and why?

Super vision! I have really bad eyesight and I'm pretty much blind without my glasses so being able to have super vision where I can see great distances or microscopic details would be a very refreshing experience for me. Also I think it would help my artwork!

Daniel Segrove is a young emerging mix media artist from San Francisco, California who recently graduated from Academy Of Art University in 2014. Daniel's work is about human emotion described by combining the outer physical expression of the figures with his inner self expressive abstract marks. He often works on burnt paper and other fragile surfaces to coincide with the fragile psyche of his figures. Daniel tries to combine many different mediums, artistic techniques, and textures to create a cohesive and unique artwork that the viewer can connect with.