This story was featured in the October 2013 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art October 2013 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story!
The freedom and creativity in Dan Beck’s paintings are a genuine reflection of his personality. “I want to be free to paint what interests me at the time,” Beck says. “I like my back up against the wall; I get really focused and the adrenaline kicks in.” Those fortunate enough to attend the artist’s reception for his upcoming solo show at RS Hanna Gallery, which takes place on Friday, October 4, from 6 to 9 p.m., will see 10 to 12 of Beck’s latest adrenaline-driven oil paintings, including portraits, figures, and landscapes plus “a few surprises,” he says. “I want to show my diversity in this show.” The show is on view from October 1 to 15.
Gallery owner Shannon Hanna happily highlights Beck’s work. “He’s one of the most masterful artists in figurative art today. He’s amazing and is at the top of his game,” she says. “He’s one of the artists I’m most proud to represent.” Beck can take pride in the admiration he receives from Hanna and others as a reward, perhaps, for the risks he took soon after leaving college, when he sold everything he owned and dedicated himself to becoming an artist. It wasn’t long before he had developed and refined his own style of painting that today is sought after by both private and public collectors.
Perhaps best known for his portraits and figures, Beck also delves into abstracts. “I don’t know how artists can’t be interested in both traditional and contemporary art,” he says. “Abstract expressionism is an occupation of rhythms and shapes that’s a stepping stone from impressionism to abstract. I don’t feel like there is a huge directional change.” Beck includes a couple of abstract works in this show. “Some paintings are more realistic, and in others I want to break that apart into shapes. It’s just vocabulary; I want to know about painting so that I can go in different directions. I really like messing around with it. It’s a fight to make it work. You have to be kind of stubborn and take the hits.” He has this to say about his painting technique: “I like the adventure. Trying out new approaches to my painting is a bit like boxing. If you can’t take the hits, then it don’t mean a thing.”
Beck’s works in this solo show demonstrate the risks he is willing to take in his studio. “I want to explore the possibilities in my mind. I go from looser to tighter to show this range.”
Hanna is thrilled to offer the stage for such a show. “I’ve admired Dan’s works over the years; they just speak to me, and I’ve always been drawn to them. He’s so easy to talk to and is thoughtful, well-spoken, and extremely excited about the direction of his art. He always brings a joy because he’s always excited about the next thing he’s creating.” —Anne Hopper Vickstrom
Featured in the October 2013 issue of Southwest Art magazine–click below to purchase:
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