Selected works by Dan Colen

Dan Colen
Untitled (Vete al Diablo)


Wood, wire, polyurethane, papier mâché, gesso, oil paint

182.9 x 121.9 cm base 30.5 cm
Drawing from mass media, environmental experience and sub-cultural language, Dan Colen’s work infuses a sense of magic in the under valued and ordinary. In Untitled (Vete Al Diablo), a graffitied boulder is fictionally transplanted from suburban wasteland. Towering as a henge-like monument, it immediately conjures images of teenage ritual, exuding a reliquary aura as degenerate totem. It is in fact made from papier mâché expertly faux finished to look like the real thing. Colen creates a duplicity in the sculpture’s rough hewn appearance, elevating the overlooked and forsaken to a contemplative object of inspiring craftsmanship.
Dan Colen
Rama Lama Ding Dong


enamel, and moulding paste on wood

134.6 x 101.6cm
Dan Colen’s text paintings, such as Rama Lama Ding Dong, are a practical response to his time consuming realist work. Quickly scrawled in spray paint over plywood boards which are built up with sanded layers of moulding base and acrylic, they retain a tension between immediacy of expression and perfection of surface. Spelling out song lyrics, random thoughts, or absurd slogans Colen’s texts create a form of urban poetry, conjuring effete images through word association and bereft aesthetics. Often times Colen hand-renders these works, creating the effect of aerosol through painstaking brush technique.
Dan Colen
Secrets and Cymbals, Smoke and Scissors (My Friend Dash's Wall in the Future)


Styrofoam, oil paint, paper, metal

269 x 287 x 15 cm
Dan Colen’s Secrets and Cymbals, Smoke and Scissors (My Friend Dash's Wall in the Future) is a life scale recreation of the interior of his friend’s apartment. Reconstructed from snapshot photos, every element has been meticulously crafted and exactly placed. Using the deceptive qualities of trompe l’oiel, each newspaper clipping, flyer, sticker, photograph, and hand-scrawled note has been deceptively rendered in paint. In duplicating this plebeian scene Colen imbues the collected ephemera of a person’s existence with a heightened drama, creating both an exacted portrait and amonument of wonder.
Dan Colen
Life Marijuana


Mixed media installation comprised of 1 digital print and 4 unique framed Lambda prints (accompanied by CD with digital file of print)

320 x 250 cm Unique Lambda prints 38 x 38 cm each
Dan Colen


Oil on canvas 19 parts

Dimensions variable


Seven Days Always Seemed Like
A Bit Of An Exaggeration

Rivington Arms is pleased to present Dan Colen's new work, "Seven Days Always Seemed Like A Bit Of An Exaggeration". Colen's paintings are an experience in the spectacle of opulence. His dramatic compositions encompass an apotheosis of familiar images and a marked absence culminating in a force of staged drama.

Colen's fastidious construction of a masculine lived life unfolds as biblical and cartoon characters occupy a space seemingly just exited. Evidence remains of a human touch, an unmade bed, a half read book, a steamed mirror. Where absence exists a new reality is achieved.

Found amid the jumbled possessions lie the objects that lend the paintings meaning. Toothpaste, sneakers, the Virgin Mary pendant on a bling-bling chain all cohabitate and are illuminated equally by the striking light sources that permeate each painting.

These super defined areas of light cast the rest of the scenes in God-like importance. The artificiality of the source is also inted at, following the electrical cords up and off canvas towards the imagined lights positioned above, enhancing a sense of hyper-surrealism. This 'off camera' light gives the paintings a theatrical quality, as does the tent with its flaps pulled away, a curtain on a stage, revealing someone's abandoned camping belongings. Theatricality is also apparent in the painting of the bathroom interior where the canvas has been left unfinished forcing the viewer to see the ruse, the process - in effect what lies beneath.

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