•  Installation Shots From: Pangaea: New Art From Africa And Latin America
    Pangaea: New Art From Africa And Latin America
  •  Installation Shots From: Pangaea: New Art From Africa And Latin America
    Pangaea: New Art From Africa And Latin America
  •  Installation Shots From: Pangaea: New Art From Africa And Latin America
    Pangaea: New Art From Africa And Latin America
  •  Installation Shots From: Pangaea: New Art From Africa And Latin America
    Pangaea: New Art From Africa And Latin America
  •  Installation Shots From: Pangaea: New Art From Africa And Latin America
    Pangaea: New Art From Africa And Latin America
Saatchi Art
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Current Exhibition

Dan Perfect EXHIBITED AT THE SAATCHI GALLERY

Antelope Canyon
Dan Perfect
Antelope Canyon

2005

Oil and acrylic on linen

183 x 257 cm
“The ideas in my work are tightly bound to the physical performance of making them. My paintings are like imagined interior or psychological landscapes. You might think of them like stage sets or dramatic scenes from video games: their space doesn’t go on forever, and they have rules and parameters. They aren’t real responses to nature, but re-imagined experiences, a way of bringing the outside world into my studio. They seem quite urban and technological, and there’s a strong sense of science fiction in them. It’s a decayed science fiction where tumultuous change and biological entropy is intervened and radically altered. My paintings are full of experimentation – everything is partial: masks, costumes, body parts, animals that are human, humans that are animals, things are taken apart and exploded. History is rooted in biology but futurologists predict that we will soon be able to transcend our biology; in 50 years you may be able to upload yourself. In my paintings I’m thinking about the nature of what it is to be us in this world right now.”
Brujo
Dan Perfect
Brujo

2005

Oil and acrylic on linen

183 x 257 cm
Perfect’s Brujo takes its title from Carlos Castenada’s 1968 book The Teachings of Don Juan, which is an anthropological thesis often associated with hippie culture; a ‘brujo’ is a shaman or sorcerer. “All fables and stories have some purpose or resonance to them,” explains Perfect. “I like the idea of an anthropologist going out into the desert and being broken down. This painting is also influenced by Robert Bly’s writings on masculinity and ritual, expectations and inculcations. The world of the imagination is a world of magic. It’s the anthropic principle that we project our inner contents on to outer objects: canvases are objects I project on to. In this way paintings are magical things. They are powerful objects like totems or icons.”
Hung Out
Dan Perfect
Hung Out

2005

Oil and acrylic on linen

183 x 213 cm
“In my paintings I am looking to build up an absolute welter of complexity. The world is an intensely complex place and it’s a great deal of work to make that feel simple and flowing. I’d like my paintings to be something like the Apple operating system – it’s a wonderful outcrop of simplicity interfacing an enormous complexity, people can engage with it immediately. There’s a simple rightness and pleasure connected to that. In a funny way my paintings are big operating systems, written in lines of visual and historical code. I’m interested in what it is to have a consistent and coherent identity. My work offers partial narratives of what constitutes you as the identifier. All the things in the pictures have some kind of a journey, a kind of nostalgia for the known: TV, comics, novels, different influences that have reached through to me. They imply a coherent personal or psychological identity, but also a wider cultural identity as well.”
Uproar
Dan Perfect
Uproar

2007

Oil and acrylic on linen

183 x 257 cm
“I think fantasy is conjecture not escapism, it’s a way of re-imagining the world. Paintings are virtual spaces and I think of them as being endlessly mutable places or frameworks. In my paintings I try to make something that, in the immediate moment of viewing it, has an overwhelming sense of rightness. They have an aesthetic logic indicative of a potential belief in order, if not an actual order. They’re all the time invoking chaos and dissolution, but I try to make them still and coherent as paintings. I don’t work from source imagery at all, I try to make stuff up and improvise as much as possible. I try to stop the superego intervening and not let my ‘critical other’ intervene. All the imagery formulates in a dream-like way: partial and confused narratives, the mishmash of everyday life, old memories, snippets of tunes, everything I’ve ever seen. This material doesn’t necessarily have meaning, it’s just what all the neurons in my brain are doing when they’re free-wheeling. In my paintings I try to shift, transpose, and super-organise this material into something architectural, something that has a weight about it that suggests meaning.”
Apparition
Dan Perfect
Apparition

2007

Oil and acrylic on linen

183 x 257 cm
“My paintings require a lot of planning and technique, the manipulation of material is very time-consuming. They are extremely rich and dense, and I want them to be entertainment. That doesn’t mean glib or superficial or saccharine: the ultimate goal of making art is making something truthful that you can get swept up in. I want my work to be spectacular, in the same way orchestral music can be spectacular. My paintings are melodic and have an expansive range of timbres, subtleties, nuances, and strengths, all exaggerated in large scale. I think about these in a performative way in relation to the audience. There is a strong sense of the absurd to my work, and the dark psychological context of the surrealists is related to what I do. My work is far more tongue in cheek though, and has a comedic aspect that comes out of some of the imagery, like the cartoon characters. It’s about play, but there’s nothing more serious than play.”
Village
Dan Perfect
Village

2007

Oil and acrylic on linen

183 x 257 cm
“Though my paintings quote different kinds of aesthetics and textures, it’s all done with brush work. The first layer is made with water-based paint and can look like spray paint. The backgrounds are mutable and flux-like. I put sharper paint on slowly until things start to coalesce and appear out of the formlessness. I want things to emerge out of this organic mulch and build up rhythmic and density counterpoints. As artistic references I’m interested in works by Per Kirkeby, Roberto Matta, Alan Davie and Van Gogh. The titles of my paintings are indicators towards partial narrative readings and I think of them as part of the painting palette. They’re like a punctum or emotional provocateur. Village, for example – how terrifying is the word ‘village’? This painting depicts the village of the damned to some extent: it’s community, it’s cellular proximity, information interchange. It’s a lot more threatening than some of my other canvases. But it’s also quite bucolic – a happy hell.”
Aleph
Dan Perfect
Aleph

2007

Oil and acrylic on linen

183 x 257 cm
“With each painting I try to raise my own game in the technical production. It takes two to three months to make a piece and every moment has to be important. That’s why I think of my paintings as performances. They arrive from drawings which are manipulated and re-imagined digitally, and I have to reinvest every mark with an intensity or presence. When an orchestra plays, they’re not just playing notes, they have to make it alive and animate in the moment. It’s the same with painting, each mark has to be made as if I’m inventing it for the first time, which I am. It has a lot to do with the psychology of the work: it’s not just making something, but also trying to make it interdependent with your own psychological awareness. You have to be a bit of an athlete to make a painting. You have to be aware of your own body and movement, and know what you’re like and what kind of person you are. That’s a part of the development of my work, to learn about my own capabilities.”






Other artists in
NEWSPEAK: BRITISH ART NOW

Caroline Achaintre    Tasha Amini    Hurvin Anderson    Maurizio Anzeri    Jonathan Baldock    Anna Barriball    Steve Bishop    Karla Black    Lynette Yiadom Boakye    Pablo Bronstein    Alan Brooks    Carla Busuttil    Nicholas Byrne    Gareth Cadwallader    Juliana Cerqueira Leite    Spartacus Chetwynd    Steven Claydon    Clarisse d'Arcimoles    William Daniels    Matthew Darbyshire    Graham Durward    Tom Ellis    Tim Ellis    Richard Evans    Tessa Farmer    Marcus Foster    Robert Fry    Ximena Garrido-Lecca    Jaime Gili    Nick Goss    Luke Gottelier    Kate Groobey    Anthea Hamilton    Anne Hardy    Gabriel Hartley    Nicholas Hatfull    Iain Hetherington    Alexander Hoda    Sigrid Holmwood    Systems House    James Howard    Graham Hudson    Dean Hughes    Des Hughes    Mustafa Hulusi    Paul Johnson    Edward Kay    Idris Khan    Scott King    Ansel Krut    Peter Linde Busk     littlewhitehead    Alastair MacKinven    Goshka Macuga    Ryan Mosley    Rupert Norfolk    Arif Ozakca    Mark Pearson    Dan Perfect    Peter Peri    Olivia Plender    Henrijs Preiss    Ged Quinn    Clunie Reid    Barry Reigate    Luke Rudolf    Maaike Schoorel    Daniel Silver    David Brian Smith    Renee So    Fergal Stapleton    Clare Stephenson    Caragh Thuring    Phoebe Unwin    Donald Urquhart    Jonathan Wateridge    John Wynne    Toby Ziegler

Dan Perfect's BIOGRAPHY

Dan Perfect
1965
Born in London
Lives and works in London


SOLO EXHIBITIONS


2010
Dan Perfect: Dæmonology, Karsten Schubert, London
(Catalogue; text by John-Paul Stonard)

2008
Dan Perfect: Paintings & Drawings, Road Agent, Dallas, USA
Dan Perfect: Drawings, One in the Other, London
Dan Perfect: Paintings, Chisenhale Gallery, London (Catalogue; texts by Martin Herbert and Simon Wallis)

2006
Dan Perfect, One in the Other, London

2003
Perfect Drawings, Karsten Schubert, London

2001
Floating Islands, Habitat, London


GROUP EXHIBITIONS


2010
The 242nd Royal Academy of Arts Summer Exhibition, Royal Academy, London

2009
Far From the Madding Crowd, Road Agent, Dallas, USA

2006
Black Moon Island, One in the Other, London

2005
Recent Acquisitions, Southampton City Art Gallery, UK

2003
Exploring Landscape: Eight Views from Britain, Andrea Rosen Gallery, New York

2002 - 2003
Beck’s Futures, ICA, London, travelled to CCA, Glasgow, and Mappin Art Gallery, Sheffield, UK
(Catalogue; texts by Alex Farquharson & Simon Wallis)

2001
Death to the Fascist Insect that Preys on the Life of the People, Anthony d’Offay Gallery, London (Catalogue; text by Brooke Magnus)

1999
Perceptual Engineering, Shoreditch, London