By Bonnie Gangelhoff
Dan Gerhartz pays homage to the artistic tradition of Romanticism in his expressive paintings, which highlight the incandescence of female beauty. The 44-year-old Wisconsin native studied at the American Academy of Art in Chicago and has gone on to earn numerous awards and honors. Yet one of his career’s most memorable moments took place a few years ago during a retrospective of his art at the Gilcrease Museum in Tulsa, OK. An elderly woman walked up, looked the artist squarely in the eye and said, “You are doing exactly what God wants you to do.” Her words confirmed Gerhartz’s own belief in the value of creating works of beauty and grace.
Has your style or approach to your art changed since you first appeared in Southwest Art? On occasion I’ll add a second or third figure, whereas in earlier years it was more just a solitary figure. Also, hopefully, I’m getting more subtle with the work.
What is your proudest accomplishment so far? Having the sense that I’m doing what I was made to do—and receiving affirmation that that’s the case.
Would you have done anything differently? I can’t think of anything. Gratefully, things have gone well.
What advice do you give to artists just starting out in their careers? Paint from life as much as you can, so that all your senses are bombarded. Somehow, all those elements work their way into the painting.
What motto do you live by? Listen … and when you’re quiet, honestly paint what really resonates as true.
What artists have influenced you? Alphonse Mucha, Richard Schmid, John Singer Sargent, and Carl von Marr.
What are you working on now? Continual improvement as an artist.
What’s your next big goal? To keep striving toward excellence, so that each painting carries visual impact but also emotion and a narrative storyline.
Meyer Gallery, Santa Fe, NM; Legacy Gallery, Scottsdale, AZ; InSight Gallery, Fredericksburg, TX; The Grapevine Gallery; Oklahoma City, OK; www.danielgerhartz.com.
Celebrations Invitational Show, InSight Gallery, December 4-21. Group show, Legacy Gallery, March 4-18, 2010.
First appearance in Southwest Art: Portfolio, June 1998
Awards won since then: The Robert Lougheed, Frederic Remington, and Buyers’ Choice Awards at Prix de West; the Buyers’ Choice Award and other major awards at the Oil Painters of America National Juried Exhibition; and best in show and other major awards at the Art Renewal Center’s International Salon; among others.
Price change since then: There’s been a definite increase over the years.
Featured in December 2009