“Effervescent” is just one of the words that comes to mind when you come across the paintings and photography works of Sydney-based abstract artist, Danielle Cross.
Initially, it is her charismatic social media persona that allures you then transcends your attention to the layers of her bold, textural, and vibrant artworks. Her initial signature “X” (#coincidental #notcoincidental) has become the distinctive trademark of her style. With a background in interior design, she exudes a flare for the visual. We conversate with Danielle about her creative world, and the upcoming launch of her new floral abstract collection entitled, “Where The Wild Things Are”.
What was the inspiration and motivation behind your upcoming floral series? I was seduced by the subject matter because of the raw, stripped bare, mythical, primal strength yet delicate and fragile qualities that up close they possess. Staying true to her muse, being that of emotions, and having recently experienced an extremely difficult loss, the symbolic nature of the floral structure resonated with her view on how we see and experience loss and transformation.
“It strips you bare, exposes flaws, and changes our views and beliefs. The human experience takes on a raw delicate vulnerability in the most simple of forms. And it is in this moment that magic happens.”
It strips you bare, exposes flaws, and changes our views and beliefs. The human experience takes on a raw delicate vulnerability in the most simple of forms. And it is in this moment that magic happens. It is a place for transformation and change. It is a rebirth and a transcendence for all we see, feel, and think.
The “Where the Wild Things Are” collection is a symbolic visual journey of connecting, healing, and rebuilding and seeing the magic in the everyday moment. How do you come up with the titles of your works? That is definitely one of my favorite parts of the creative process. I like to play with the titles of the works so that they have a light-hearted edge. The titles all convey a feeling or emotion that is aligned with the artworks concept and creation. It can be a song title/lyric or a tongue-in-cheek saying. The abstract paintings take on provocative, sensual, and alluring elements. They are complex, intriguing, and push the boundaries. They dance between our everyday lives and our deepest desires. I love the depth that the artwork titles add to the already layered concepts.
You studied interior design; how and when did you come to the decision that painting and photography was going to be your creative career path? The artist/painter in me has been an organic progression that started in childhood, where I don’t ever remember a time when art and design wasn’t instilled in my mind. Being surrounded by art and all of its energy, it always allowed me to have a thought process that is a little left of center. It was really a coincidental chance dinner with friends in Sydney (after living in Perth and France), that my first solo art exhibition was born. Not big on cliches but as they say, the rest is history. The rest has been all a matter of working and hustling every day. And through chance meetings and moments, my creative journey has taken its own instinctual turns.
I see myself as an Artist that sometimes uses a camera. The photography side of my art was really an escape from the complexities of my original abstract paintings. I use the photography and manipulate it so that it blurs the lines between art and photography. It gives freedom to the viewer with another dimension to explore and create their own stories within the Artworks.
Self-promotion in the social media realm can be quite groundbreaking for some artists –what are the advantages and disadvantages that you have encountered on this platform? Social media has really changed the goalposts for artists and the creative industry. We live in a time of amazing opportunities that social media can offer to us as Artists. It is High Gain but is High Risk. A place where I probably thrive in. We live in a time of digital connection. Everyone wants to connect and for clients, they have a glimpse into our everyday lives. Although we are all edited, it is all about Authenticity. Your clients will see through the façade and in the end, these are the people we are trying to engage and connect with. A photo can have a strength that words can’t. Passion and humor trail through my social media channels because Art shouldn’t take itself too seriously nor should us as Artists. Aligning our work persona with our authentic self is where it’s at.
“Aligning our work persona with our authentic self is where it’s at.”
What do you hope to convey through your art? Emotions. Art in all its forms, needs to talk, resonate, and feel. Art is about connection. Connecting with the Art, the Artist and this moment in time. Art is the ultimate freedom. The type of Art that talks to me, has strength and transcends. I always want me viewers to have passion or despise for the Art, not the middle ground. It needs to evoke a strong emotion, positive or negative, then I know my job is done.
DANIELLEX CHECKLIST: NAME YOUR POISON: Hendrick’s gin & tonic with cucumber. WHAT WOULD BE YOUR DREAM CREATIVE COLLABORATIVE ENDEAVOR? It would have to be with the French fashion House GIVENCHY. I can see my abstract original prints: ROCK N ROLLER, CALL MY NAME, PLAY DIRTY, TALK DIRTY. And to be specific, printed on the leather fronts of the Pandora Bag, one of my all-time favs! It’s the monochrome, strength, energy, sensuality. IF YOU WERE TO DANCE LIKE NOBODY IS WATCHING, WHAT WOULD BE THE SONG OF CHOICE: It would have to be Jamiroquai’s “Alright” but the live in Verona version, OR “Buried Alive” by Logic. DESCRIBE YOUR ART STUDIO: It is an ordered contradiction: calm and chaos. To work in the best head space, I need my office side to be very ordered and neat while my art painting area is always, manic, messy, and free. FAVORITE ART GALLERY? MCA in Sydney – can’t get past the art curating, the building, the location. MOST INFLUENTIAL/INSPIRING ARTIST (LIVING/DEAD) AND WHY? Yago Hortal: “I look for a balance between chaos and order, something like a combination between a chess game and a boxing match.”It is his action painting and abstract expressionism style mixed with the vibrant energy of his colors. The chess game and boxing match sums up me perfectly! WHO WOULD YOU WANT MOST TO ART SWAP WITH? Ben Frost, in particular his Valium, Xanax etc. original artworks. It’s his humor and playfulness, and tongue-in-cheek take on the modern self-prescribing world! FAVORITE/INSPIRATIONAL SOCIAL MEDIA PROFILES YOU FOLLOW: Being a visual creative, Instagram is such an amazing source for daily inspiration. My daily feeds are all a combination of art, sex, fashion, interiors, quotes and humor.
SOCIAL LIST: @ratandboa @starkdesignhouse @aldo_decaniz @xlucasgrogan @mimdesignstudio @r.h.sin @theloversanddriftersclub
Australian abstract artist Boe Sapun is the founder and curator of Ecume Gallery. The Melbourne-based gallery represents both local, international, established, and emerging contemporary art. The idea of having great art accessible to a broad audience prompted the online gallery showcasing her own work, as well as a diverse range and ever-growing list of talented contributing artists. Boe’s passion is in discovering creative minds and understanding the finer nuances of their character which influence their process, inspiration, and art. Follow Boe Sapun and Écume Gallery on Instagram and Facebook.