Los Angeles-based artist Alic Daniel has created his own visual language that in the process, he finds a form of meditation.
When you first feast your eyes on one of Alic Daniel’s paintings, the brash lines, vibrant colours and geometrical composition immediately jump out at you, bringing to life an infectious energy of abstraction and complexity. Rather than a piece of art that conveys deeper layers of meaning, however, Daniel insists that his now signature “Scribbles” style of painting is a mediation of composition. “I was trying to let go of the idea of making something that resembled reality,” Daniel reveals.
“With letting go, my muscle memory and idea of composition took hold and created something new.”
Born in Dayton, Ohio, Alic has begun making a name for himself with his calligraphic lines that he calls “scribbles” using traditional graffiti materials and fine bristle brushes. After a residency in Nashville, he now resides in sunny Los Angeles; “My work always changes based on the physical and social landscape of the place I am in,” Daniel claims.
“Dayton taught me that I want to be somewhere else,” he admits. “Nashville gave me an opportunity to understand how to be a self-sufficient artist and Los Angeles is teaching me about colour and vibrancy.”
It is through his journey through life that his art began to come into form and develop into his own. The American artist now creates his own visual meditations of forms and compositions with that touch of LA vibrancy being the latest thing he’s added to his repertoire. Taking notes from some of his favourite artists such as Keith Haring, Frank Stella and Jonathan Lasker, Daniel continues his growth through the stages of his life, and in turn, his work has evolved into a unique visual language that is subjective to the eyes of the receiver.
“I want the viewer to think whatever they want to think,” Alic says. “Many people see names, characters, and sentences in the work, but in reality, it does not say anything. The work is more of a meditation on composition than trying to push any singular idea.”
Between the scribbles, it is only through his own visual expression that Daniel finds harmony in balance and expression, and laying it on canvas. “For the most part all my work is extremely freestyled,” he admits. “I’m a very direct, passionate, and emotional person, so I try to directly show that through my work as honestly as I can.”
As for getting in that creative zone, Daniel says that the one essential is some sort of audio playing in the background. “Sometimes that means an audiobook, music or a movie,” he says. “If I’m feeling slo-mo, I might put something fast paced or energetic on in order to balance out my mood and get to work. I’m a big hip-hop fan, but living in Nashville I grew to really be into blues and garage rock.”
“Everything is next,” he declares. “The scribbles work for now, but who knows maybe I’ll start painting nudes next. For now, I’m using the scribbles as a character element in the compositions. Lately, more shapes are present in the work than scribbles.”
Words by Braeden Alexander – Explore more of Alic’s work at his site and on Instagram.