Daniel Mrva

My work asserts the power of the author by encouraging submissive attitudes from the viewer through the lure of beauty, material curiosity, and illusionistic puzzle. When encountering my work, a viewer who moves to a particular vantage point (often by kneeling or leaning against the wall) is rewarded with an interesting color interaction, beautiful pattern, etc. Other times, visual and material puzzles encourage the viewer to examine more closely the canvas which juts into the viewer’s personal space. By luring the viewer in such ways, and then highlighting the compulsive power of visual pleasure to literally move their body, I remind the viewer of the nature of beauty as a consensual submission to the power of some Other, in this case, myself as author of their visual experience.

I argue for the cultural relevance of the late Modernist project today, utilizing a language of phenomenology; rooted in color field painting, minimalist sculpture, and color theory, together with bright pop colors and materials. By using the late-Modernist aesthetic as a starting point, I am searching for an objective position before post-Modernism’s pluralistic evening out. This relates directly to the project of generously compelling the viewer to points of beauty, by apprehending their attention and their very bodies. I argue for some objective truth, and gain evidence of that truth through the viewer’s physical reactions. I find arguments of cultural consensus of beauty less compelling than arguments of beauty as an objective quality. Rather than being limited to a rigid universal beauty, I tend to think of more things as beautiful than fewer; cultural disregard limits our appreciation, while unexpected visual pleasure elevates us to greater generosity of our esteem. My gift to the viewer is a generosity of visual experience that places a greater number of objects in the world into the realm of the Beautiful.