Daniel Rich was born in 1977 in Ulm, Germany and lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. Rich received his BFA from the Atlanta College of Art and his MFA from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston.
Rich’s meticulous acrylic paintings of the built environment are devoid of human presence, and explore the way architecture and urban space reflect our lived experience and political and social structures. In a labor-intensive process, Rich works from Google images, newspapers, and photographs, translating them into paintings with hand-cut stencils, mixed color, paintbrushes, and a squeegee to create smooth surfaces. In Drone (2011), Rich reproduces a detail from a U.S. drone, while Foxconn Shenzhen (2012) depicts a staircase from within the notorious Chinese factory in which Apple products are manufactured. “The architectural image is represented to introduce a dialogue about changing political power structures, failed utopias, the impacts of ideological struggles, war and natural upheavals,” he has said. Artist Statement
I translate photographs into paintings that call attention to implicit political and social narratives transcribed in the built environment. The architectural image is represented in my work to introduce a dialogue about changing political power structures, failed utopias, the impacts of ideological struggles, war and natural upheavals. I am interested in the highly symbolic role architecture plays in politics and its power to function as an icon of our lived experience, a portrait of an existential phenomenology whose features manifest where society is at one particular moment in history.
My paintings point to the shifting of the significance and meaning in both images of places and the places themselves. My interest in the potential divergence and duality of images and the media’s role in covering and presenting issues to the public is closely tied to a pictorial architecture, and its ability to act as an icon for political, religious and social systems and beliefs. I collect and appropriate photographs I find on the Internet and in newspapers, in response to radio and television broadcasts, and through research and reading. The mediated image is painted in order to invest the picture with the capability to function as a signifier and to evoke meaning and discourse.
Summer Group Exhibition Opening Photos (August 7, 2012)