Figurative narrative art - Danny Glass,
Danny Glass, "Crossing," 2020, oil on canvas, 38 x 38 in., available through the artist

There is a lot of superb contemporary realism and narrative art being made these days; this article by Allison Malafronte shines light on a gifted individual.

The diverse compositions, colors, and activities of urban street life and the human condition have held the attention of Florida painter Danny Glass (b. 1991) for well over 10 years. His portfolio of large-scale multi-figure paintings, individual portraits conveying psychological depth, and drawings in charcoal, graphite, and pen-and-ink tell of his desire to understand and make sense of the world through the work of his hand.

“Each of my paintings begins with my perception of contemporary society and my experience of truths revealed by that perception,” Glass says. “I invite viewers to empathize with my desire to express today’s truths and encourage viewers to recognize and explore their own truths and emotions as they view my work. I deeply believe that expressive, figurative art can clearly and emphatically communicate with viewers emotionally and intellectually.”

In “Crossing,” shown above, Glass tells a symbolic story through the eyes of someone who is confined to a chair at a busy city intersection. Her countenance is content and watchful, while the expressions of the others show telltale signs of anxiously being on the move to the next moment of their scheduled days. Color plays a significant role here, although only the artist himself likely knows its true symbolism. All the men are depicted in bright blue while the women, including the woman watching, are in diluted shades of red. Glass asks the viewer to find and ruminate on just these kinds of subtle clues in his visual narratives.

Relatively new to professional painting, in 2015 Glass completed the dual degree program offered by Brown University and the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), where he majored in art history and painting. After working as a research intern at the RISD Museum and participating in residency programs, he moved to New York City and earned a Master’s degree in art business from Sotheby’s Institute of Art while maintaining a consistent studio practice.

Today Glass is more committed than ever to using his skills to create images with care and intention that require the viewer to pause and reflect. “In a time when countless images flash before our eyes only to be quickly forgotten, we risk losing touch with the important intuitions and feelings we each have that guide our understanding of the world,” the artist observes. “The choice to commit to images is thus daunting, but for me, it is more important than ever.”

This article was originally published in Fine Art Connoisseur magazine (subscribe here).