It was my typical artsy sunday. For months I made it a tradition to hit a new gallery and check out already established artists or the up and coming ones that will eventually take over the whole freaking thing. This past sunday, I encountered both in Danny Minnick. Let me start by saying that I have been a huge fan of Danny Minnick’s works since I first seen paintings via another Los Angeles artist, Karen Bystedt’s instagram page.
I immediately started to follow Danny and his work and became a huge fan. For starters, let me just say that Danny isn’t your ordinary artist, in fact he’s really a skater. That seems to really be his passion, but artistically, he may be just as proficient.
After following Danny and his work for weeks I come across Gallerie Sparta, who I also follow on Social Media, and their post about the “Painting to Connect The Dots” opening show with Danny Minnick exhibiting on a date that I was out-of-town. Yeah as you can probably guess, I was a bit hurt by it. (laughs) But I made a promise to myself that I would see this exhibit and I declared this past sunday that day.
So as I prepare my camera, gas up the “Art Mobile” and head down Sunset Blvd, amidst the traffic, I think about what I will see. Is it Oil or Acrylic that he uses? Will he let me take photos of the work? Will he even be there? are some of the questions racing through my head as I drive to the gallery. I finally spot Gallerie Sparta and then immediately hit with the next obstacle. The Great Los Angeles Parking Challenge.
After several U-turns and a move that would surely add to my abuse of traffic court, I found a spot! Right across the street! This was my lucky day. So I thought. After parking, paying the meter, crossing the cross walk, you know doing all the things a law-abiding citizen would, I get to the door, pull the handle and, Nothing. “Wait! It’s closed?” I thought to myself. This is impossible. So I start to take a peak inside the window to at least get a glimpse of the setup.
Luckily, Gallerie Sparta has a painting and one of Danny’s jackets in the window so all hope wasn’t lost. I figured I’d just take my picture, mention Gallerie Sparta and Danny and let them know i stopped by but would return to finally see the show as I made plans to continue my traditional trek through the city art scene.
No later than 2 minutes after the Instagram post was made, my phone alerted with a new notification. It was Danny letting me know that he would be at the gallery later on that day if I wanted to come back through. Uh, hell yeah! I was hype and appreciative at the same time. I was getting to see one of my new favorite contemporary artists work and have the tour given by him personally. I mean really, how many times does this opportunity happen? To me, not often.
From the time I received the notification until the time I was headed back up Sunset Blvd, all I could think about was the immersion of color, creativity and individual personality I was about to embark upon and immediately began to smile. Lucky or not, I was going to see Danny Minnick’s work and I didn’t give a damn what anyone else thought.
This time parking was a breeze. I pulled right up to a spot, almost as if we were VIP, paid the meter and began a familiar walk to the same gallery we visited earlier, Gallerie Sparta. Entering the gallery we find Danny comfortably relaxing, on his cell phone, at one of the biggest and probably most expensive tables on the Blvd. My attention went continuously back and forth from introducing myself to him and admiring the work that I was surrounded in. Danny was as cool as I expected him to be. Non-egotistical, open-minded and very relaxed. While he finished up some studying on the phone, we (my cousin and I) began to walk around the exhibit, fascinated by the new pieces.
The first piece I encountered was titled “Don’t Bite My Character or My Character Will Bite You” which Danny informed me was in the collection of Nick Casavettes, which is super dope. Next to that piece was the quote that set as the “log-line” for the show, “I paint to connect the dots…of my real thoughts”, which set the tone of the rest of the gallery pieces. I was amazed when Danny showed us the 400ft replica studio in a quiet corner of the gallery where created majority of the work for the show. One piece “Communicating with Angels” was still wet to the touch.
By the time we did a loop around the gallery, Danny was finished with what he was doing and gave us the artist tour of the exhibit. During this tour we got a chance to understand the thought behind each piece created and the tools used. He also showed us a video of his latest interview with RevoltTV’s “Art Attack” with Dj Damage, which was very dope, and also showcased some of Danny’s skating skills inside of the gallery.
I think the visit to the gallery, with Danny present, is the ONLY way to get the real appreciation for his work. Many people these days write off his type of “Abstract-ness” as immature, rough and maybe even degenerate art, but if you look deeper, past the strokes and into the artist, you understand that you’re actually being treated to a contemporary treasure.