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Daniel Pap

Daniel Pap is a local Gold Coast emerging artist. Originally starting his career in the tattoo arena, he decided to make the leap to fine art on paper rather than skin. After a life changing year in Europe accessing the world’s best art galleries and museums, Dan has honed his art skills and is experimenting with different styles. Now with a couple of local exhibitions under his belt, he sat down with Inside Gold Coast to give us an update on where to next.

How long have you been a Gold Coast local?
I’ve been a Gold Coast local pretty much all my life. I was born in Tweed Heads and lived all over the Coast since.

What do you love most about living here?
I love the good weather and nice beaches but also the emerging art scene and creative people. Most of my friends are on the Gold Coast so it’s good to be around the, too.

Tell us about your career as an artist thus far?
I wouldn’t call it a “career”, my career so far has been being a tattoo artist. Painting is something that I’ve always loved doing in my spare time though but I just never really planned it out or thought of it like a career. I guess I started to be more serious about it and paint more abstract ever since I lived in Europe for a year. After I got back in 2018, I started exhibiting my paintings in local galleries like the Dust Temple in Currumbin and Level Up Gallery in Cooly.

Tell us about your art.
I used to draw more tattoo related images, like tattoo flash or Japanese inspired wood block prints using mainly watercolour and paper. From there, I got into more illustration styles, which I still do today. Since 2018, I’ve been doing abstract paintings inspired by impressionism, surrealism and cubism, from the early to late 1900s. Big inspirations are Picasso and Lempicka. I love to experiment with different styles and mediums, from watercolour to acrylic on wood or even spray cans and posca pen. I’ve also been painting on jeans jackets, mostly custom pieces.

Where do you find inspiration for your art?
I love going to museums, galleries and to buy old art books from around the world. During my stay in Europe, I was able to visit a lot of cool museums which really inspired me to create more diversely.

What is the process of creating a piece of art from concept to gallery exhibition?
To be honest, it completely depends on each piece and the series I’m doing at the time. I usually have a rough idea that I loosely sketch out and then use this sketch to turn it into a more refined version. When the outline is done, I’ll start work on it and take time to meticulously paint it. For some pieces I know when the painting is done but for others, I’m never 100% sure. I then see where I want to exhibit the painting and how I envision them to hang in a gallery. I’m actually planning an exhibition at the moment but due to COVID it’s trickier to figure out a good time.

Are there any other Gold Coast artists we should keep an eye on?
There are so many people that deserve to be recognised on the Gold Coast, to name a few:
@dionsribs
@joelrea
@s.arnoldpaint
@allfrey
@kanekokaris

What has been the biggest opportunity and/or challenge so far for you?
A big opportunity was to hold a solo exhibition at the Dust Temple in 2019 and to fill out a large room with my work. It’s so good to see that people are interested in my stuff and to hear the feedback.

What’s on the cards for the rest of 2020?
I’ve been pretty busy working as a tattoo artist at House of Solace in Coolangatta. But I’ll definitely keep painting and (hopefully) plan out my exhibition towards the end of the year. Stay tuned for that! I also recently launched my website, where I sell limited edition fine-art prints but also framed and unframed originals.  —> Check it out 😉 Daniel.papart.com

Tell us your favourites on the Coast…
Restaurant for dinner: Etsu!
Bar or pub for a drink: Eddies Grub House 
Café for breakfast: Commune
Coffee spot: Quest
How does your weekend usually look: Sunny with a slice of weez <3

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