Daniel Zalla

Xavier University

My name is Daniel Zalla and I am a student of painting and drawing. As a young artist, I used to dismiss modern and conceptual art in favor of what was rigorously technical. As I have continued to explore what constitutes art, however, I have become more drawn to contemporary artists who can balance classical techniques with innovative and relevant themes, such as Cesar Santos, Carl Dobsky, and Scott Fraser. In my current body of work, I strive to navigate between my different artistic ambitions. On the one hand, I have always desired to paint like the old masters and have been inspired by the Italian Renaissance and French Academic Painters. On the other hand, I am determined to push beyond the comfortable boundaries of classical representation and exercise my full creative freedom in the way I make pictures. To accomplish this, I am reflecting on the absolute freedom I expressed in my drawings as a child and I am combining those childhood concepts and mark-making quality with classical figures and scenes. In this way I am not only paying homage to art history in general, but also to my own personal art history. As I enter the next stages of my artistic career, I want to continue exploring the limits of classical representation to create relevant work for a contemporary world.
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