In their rustic aesthetic and exaggerated spatial rendering, Daniels’s paintings, at first glance, appear to be contemporary explorations of cubism. They are, however, immaculately drafted still-lifes. Daniels begins each piece by making immensely detailed collages: reconstructing well-known art historical paintings from bits of found paper and household products. Using these as maquettes, he then translates each fold, frayed edge, and bevelled texture into highly realistic paintings. The maquette made for The Shipwreck attempts what should be technically impossible: recreating the impressionist brush marks and ethereal light of a Turner painting in a monochrome cardboard structure. Daniels’s small canvas interprets the qualities of the model rather than the original, evolving the scene as a kind of anti-drama, eerily deadened and stilled.

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