Biography of Daniel Arsham
American artist Daniel Arsham incorporates a near-scientific approach into painting, installation, and stage design. Often working with unexpected combinations of materials and actions, his practice grew out of his core interests in documentation and architecture. Growing up in Miami, Arsham experienced the destruction of his home in Hurricane Andrew. It was a pivotal point that still informs much of his artistic output. Despite his brush with death, he has since remained firmly in the eye of another kind of storm, focusing on the potentially violent processes of remembering and preserving. Pieces are seemingly extracted from dirt and debris to become part of a large but controlled chaos. His visceral works and consistent hunger for progress make him one of America’s most exciting contemporary practitioners.
Although he kept the photographs he took as a boy in the aftermath of the disaster, Arsham has not yet exhibited them. Instead, he has rendered the camera he used to take them as something rediscovered in the ruins of a faraway time. The series Future Relic includes videos and sculptures of near-obsolete technological devices—objects cast from natural substances like crystal or ash. Adopting the languages of both the future and the past, Arsham has been perpetually toeing the line between archaeology and science fiction throughout his extremely varied career. Having studied at Cooper Union in New York, Arsham is now based in the city. Soon after graduating, he was commissioned by legendary choreographer Merce Cunningham and Dior fashion designer Hedi Slimane. Highly prolific, Arsham has since formed collaborative venture Snarkitecture, through which he has also been chipping away at the boundaries of architecture.
Born in 1980, Arsham’s work has been shown at PS1 in New York, The Museum of Contemporary Art in Miami, The Athens Biennale in Athens, Greece, The New Museum In New York, Mills College Art Museum in Oakland, California and Carré d’Art in Nîmes, France.