Catching up (don’t try to keep up) with Danny Minnick
Seattle Born, Danny Minnick’s art will resonate with you. His work has a deep obverse indication. With vibrant, unabashed boldness he creates canvases that are often compared to the embodiment of a Basquiat meets Keith Haring in a blender feel (Basqui-aring). Yet, Minnick is certainly his own man with his own approach. Colorful, aggressive strokes on large works, comprised of oil stick or acrylic (or whatever he wants) will grab you. Emanating an intense, robust balancing act of extremes. The results are a happy canvas or a dark, cryptic canvas with a hilarious name. Whatever the end result, there’s a story in there. After a minute looking at a Minnick you are hooked. With an impressive list of collectors and a jam packed schedule, he is fast on his way to blue chip stardom, treading at the speed light!
I ring the bell of Danny Minnick’s studio in NYC and look at the door awkwardly.I’m not sure if I should be looking in the camera waving hello or continue staring at the door that says “Samo” amongst other things. It looks like its been there decades. I am in the right place.
I enter, and I am greeted with a “Hello” as he pops his head out to greet me from above. It’s a familial sort of hello your old friends greet you with. I respond in kind and make my way up. At the top of the staircase sits a tiny fur ball of love (studio manager, Flip) a little black french bulldog with his own swag. He is staring up at me at the entrance. White whiskers and a neck with a stellar circumference, he’s summing me up. (We became good friends later). As the dog goes into the back, Danny emerges and greets me.
There are fresh works everywhere. Danny has a busy fall and is getting ready. London, LA, Germany in a matter of weeks. The studio is a raw space, with loads of light and high ceilings depicting a man who goes to work and paints diligently. There are splashes of color and light with a capacious square table, slightly offset to the left of the room not quite center. Buckets of paint, oil sticks, tubes… and I lost him..
He re-appears with an iced tea for me. I am just looking around wondering where my eyes will settle.
Boom! A diptych. And then I realize to my horror, I am standing on a canvas.
“It’s ok” he says unfazed as he walks by. (I would like to disclose for the remainder of my visit, it was like step on a crack, break your mamma’s back) a maintained, ardent sense of looking up, down and all around ensued, and everywhere, there was something captivating.
I was feeling like I needed to settle in, take a Ritalin and absorb it all. His energy, the pudgy pooch, the floors, the walls, the cool back loft with vinyl records, Jimi Hendrix playing in the background. It was gonna take a minute to resonate and it was all great!
It is mentioned frequently that Danny was a professional skateboarder. This fact definitely brings the cool factor in his story (but I do believe, not discounting it all) it is time someone acknowledges at this point, the Artist Danny Minnick has taken first position. Danny is on fire!
Why We Love It
Call me a cool aid drinking Minnick follower, but I dig it all. He infectiously and quickly interprets his work as he tells me the names of the paintings and the stories behind a few of them. He has a rebel sense and expresses it openly in his work. I am wondering how I would ever remember these titles, like, “Odalisque (F*ck all you twerkers)” but I don’t care. It’s fun and the titles are hilarious. I make a mental note that I can ask him later.
I see one piece I really like, asking the name. He looked at the back of the canvas and said “Oh yeah, where you going?” I respond, “What a cool name!” Repeating, “Oh yeah, Where you going?” He laughs and replies, “It’s just, Where you going!” Then, he immediately walked over to the table, grabbed my favorite color oil stick and wrote on the back in orange “Oh yeah” in front of the title. This is the moment, Danny entered my heart. In that moment the painting became mine in my head, and actually is mine now.
He has a cool considerate vibe. His work has this harmonious tension you cannot explain. It is composed of extreme peaks and valleys. Anywhere where you land, you are beholding a cracker jack artist.
As I tippy toe through the open space, I begin taking pics of my favorites, which grew with each passing moment. Like Vincent’s Last Go- stick up kid.
Somehow, I became aware of the minutes, as I had a plane to catch. Flip on my lap, Danny and I discussing things and life and people we both know and love and sipping on our iced teas. It was a good moment. He pointed to a picture and said, “That picture is a tribute I did for Bob Ross!” I responded, “Bob Ross will be known for titanium white, what will you be known for?” He walks by me as he is hanging a painting I wanted to see and said, without skipping a beat, “Doing what makes you feel good. Doing whatever the fuck you want!” What I wanted was to stay longer with him and spend time, but I had to go. I knew there would be more to talk about, more exciting work yet to be made and God willing, many more minutes.