Skip to main content
Smithsonian Associates - Entertaining, Informative, Eclectic, Insightful

Daniel Riesmeyer

Biography

Daniel was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and received his Bachelor of Fine Arts From The Maryland Institute College of Art (Baltimore, MD) in 2008.

In the spring of 2010, he completed his Master of Fine Arts at The Henry Radford Hope School of the Fine Arts at Indiana University (Bloomington, IN) and has since participated in numerous group exhibitions as well as multiple one- and two-person exhibitions. In 2015, he was awarded the opportunity to participate in the highly selective Alfred and Trafford Klots International Program for Artists in Léhon, France and in 2017 was a juried competition artist in Plein Air Easton.

Since graduation, he has taught at a number of colleges and universities - most notably and recently at The Maryland Institute College of Art.

Daniel has shown in Washington, D.C., Bloomington (IN), Annapolis (MD), Baltimore (MD), Bethesda/Rockville (MD), New York (NY), Hiram (OH), Pittsburgh (PA), and Léhon, France.

Research Statement

I am interested in making pictures of alternate parallel realities, similar but not the same as our own. Through my work, I explore the lives of many characters, some based on actual people, others totally fictitious, and some only hinted at. This fusion or bending and blending of truth and fiction mirrors my own interest in the necessary bond between the sacred and the profane, light and dark, purity and the impossibility of innocence.

I work from direct observation and am interested in the relationship between immediate perception and the transformation of observations due to the transfiguring lens of memory, accumulated time, and the imagination. In this way, I try to create a world that is both uncannily familiar but also seemingly alien - my paintings are a glimpse into a world in which established boundaries between fabricated mundane modern life and the primal, emotive, raw, and essentially Real are weakened.

I limit and narrow the visual resources upon which I can draw and compose while projecting the resulting narrative into a context that is both of our time, our past, our future, and fully removed from it. To paraphrase Marcel Marceau, as a painter I try to make "the invisible, visible and the visible, invisible." As I think all good painting essentially does, I try to take the ordinary and make out of it something extra-ordinary. I want to make work that draws from the familiar or knowable but also transcends it.