Emerging Artists | Danny Griego

Where manmade and natural wonders collide


Danny Griego, Construction Zone, oil, 8th & Washington, oil, 8 x 10.

This story was featured in the December 2015 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art December 2015 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story

In his former life, Danny Griego was a scene designer for San Diego’s Old Globe theater, where he was involved in productions such as The Full Monty, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, and Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. With a schedule of 15 shows a year, 12-hour days were not uncommon. Even so, Griego found time for painting and drawing classes at the Watts Atelier of the Arts in nearby Encinitas. But in 2004, after 10 years of the demanding theater life, he decided it was time to take “a leap off the cliff” and pursue his own work.

Griego had earned a bachelor’s degree in theatrical scene design from the University of Northern Colorado. The technical drawing skills he acquired in college and his experience in the theater proved useful in his new career as a fine artist. These days his talents at capturing various slices of life are gaining recognition. Earlier this year Griego won the Quick Draw contest at the Telluride Plein Air show in Colorado, and he also took home a top award from the monthly BoldBrush Painting Competition.

The artist says he relishes depicting the nooks and crannies of Southern California that don’t get much attention from the public—freeway intersections, on- and off-ramps, and shabby buildings that evoke a bygone era. Through his use of color and texture, he hopes to convey to viewers that these places deserve another look. “I like to go where concrete, wood, and steel meet nature,” Griego says. “I like the straight lines of manmade structures that interact with organic forms.”

Griego says a recent painting called TURF CLUB captures the urban tone he strives for in his work. The restaurant is a San Diego fixture dating back to the 1950s, and it’s known for its unique style—people buy their meat there and then cook it themselves. “TURF CLUB is one of my favorite paintings,” Griego says. “It takes a rather mundane subject and injects personality by use of mood and color. It is impressionistic with shades of abstraction. Though it looks a bit desolate, it is also inviting and makes me want to go there for a beer.” —Bonnie Gangelhoff


Featured in the December 2015 issue of Southwest Art magazine–click below to purchase:
Southwest Art December 2015 print issue or digital download Or subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss a story!

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