Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Daniel Foster: Inside Out at Susan Street Gallery, Solana Beach

by Patricia Frischer

Daniel Foster: Inside Out is the launch of his artist career at Susan Street Fine Art Gallery (200 North Cedros Avenue, Solana Beach, 92075) from Feb 8 -12 by appointment. Foster was the former director of the Oceanside Museum of Art, Riverside Art Museum and Riverside Foundation. Many remember him as the education director at SDAI. His art has been hidden from view until now. In January 1986, upon a visit to Spectrum Gallery in San Diego's Gaslamp District, Foster was deeply inspired by a Walter Wojtyla’s Stalker Dog series prismacolor drawing. He immediately purchased a box of colored pencils and has been making art ever since.  His work will be revealed for the first time at this exhibition and celebrated at a reception: Fri., Feb.12, 5-9 pm and an Artists Talk:  Sat, Feb. 13, 4-6 pm. Open without an appointment on Sat/Sun Feb 13/14 from 12 to 4 pm. BYOF (Bring your own flashlight) More info and RSVP: dbfosterart@gmail.com

 When an artist makes the conscious decision to work without exhibiting, it creates a mystic around the art. Daniel Foster seems little concerned about this action as a ploy to gain attention. He comes across as honest and transparent about the evolution of his creations.

 In this first show, he is exhibiting a mix of old and new work with no chronological organization. Artist, historically, were encouraged to make very clear statements about the intent and direction of their work visually. But in the past ten years, we have seen numerous high level one person exhibitions where, at first glance, it could appear that multiple artists created what was on view.  

These works by Foster are hung salon style (packed onto the wall like a jigsaw puzzle). There are reflective surface op art works along side of abstract shapes next to word art drawings and sand manipulation photographs. One could see lots of influences and much experimentation. Merging the old and the new was confusing, but it seemed like an appropriate out of the box tactic to make us try to see anew. Foster is a left brain leader but a definite right brain non-linear artist. I left feeling that I had experienced a teaser of things to come out of the storage locker, past, present and future. 


What follows is from a press release issue in January, 2016.

Daniel Foster dramatically and unexpectedly became a full-time devoted life-long artist in his late 20's after experiencing an artistic and creative "epiphany" in early February, 1986. The unleashing of Foster's creative spirit completely dissolved his academic and professional aspirations to be an entrepreneur/inventor, and led him over the next 18 years to a simple life of daily artmaking, poetry, and philosophy. 

For the past 30 years, db Foster has extensively pursued his artistic talents in nearly complete and pure isolation -- intentionally abstaining from all professional exhibition and sales opportunities. 

In 2016, Foster is finally "emerging" and engaging the contemporary art world with a series of public exhibitions, installations, programs, and philosophic treatises that will reveal his extensive and diverse artistic investigations and approaches in painting, installation, photography, poetry, public/site-specific art, and conceptual art.

Before becoming an artist, Foster credits his degree in Entrepreneurship from the University of Southern California and his extensive academic studies in Philosophy from UC San Diego in the mid-70s as very influential precursors that became the foundation for his life in the arts. Foster received a Master’s of Fine Arts degree with honors from the San Francisco Art Institute (SFAI) in 1995 – the only graduate student to receive two department degrees (in New Genres and Sculpture/Painting). From 1988-89, Foster also studied full-time in the Visual Arts Department at the University of California, San Diego with strong influences by Allan Kaprow, Italo Scanga, and Ernest Silva.

Living in San Diego/La Jolla from 1986 to 2003, Foster devoted himself to a full-time ascetic life of artmaking – with some part-time arts professional experience at the San Diego Art Institute and UC San Diego University Art Gallery. Life changed dramatically in 2003 when Foster moved to Riverside, California to become the Executive Director of the Riverside Art Museum for over 5 years, and subsequently the President/CEO of The Community Foundation Serving Riverside/San Bernardino Counties for 4 years. Foster’s professional arts and philanthropic leadership career enjoyed tremendous accomplishments and arts community-building successes in the Inland Empire – before returning to San Diego in 2012 as the Executive Director of the Oceanside Museum of Art (OMA) for nearly 3 years.

Known for his visionary leadership style and collaborative community-building skills, Foster has created and launched numerous important organizations and initiatives, such as: North County Arts Network (arts council for North County San Diego), Arts Connection (arts council for San Bernardino County), Riverside Cultural Consortium, Oceanside Cultural Consortium, Inland Empire Arts Forum, Inland Empire Funder’s Alliance, and the Artist-in-Residence Program at Joshua Tree National Park. Additionally, Foster was a weekly Arts Columnist for the Press-Enterprise daily newspaper for five years. 

Foster regards these community leadership endeavors and initiatives to be a form of “social art practice” that complements and adds to his range of diverse creative art practices over the past 30 years. Foster left OMA in June, 2015 to dedicate time and priority towards launching and establishing his professional artist career on a local and national/ international scale, in addition to pursuits in community building and healing through the arts and collective impact. 

Although exposed to and appreciative of the arts through his childhood growing up in Woodland Hills, California (suburb of Los Angeles), Foster showed no interest, talent, or inclination for making art or pursuing a professional path in the arts. Upon leaving the USC Marshall School of Business/Entrepreneur Program in 1981, Foster eventually relocated to San Diego in late 1984 and pursued inventing and starting small businesses. 

Then, in January 1986, upon a visit to Spectrum Gallery in San Diego's Gaslamp District, Foster was deeply inspired by a Walter Wojtyla Stalker Dog Series prismacolor drawing. He immediately went to the Fine Arts Store on India Street and purchased a box of Berol prismacolor pencils (colored pencils). After making a small self-portrait sketch drawing, Foster felt motivated to attempt a larger and more refined drawing/painting on a 40"x32" sheet of Strathmore 4-ply paper. In one day, Foster obsessively initiated and completed a surrealist style Self Portrait drawing---and experienced a profound sense of his inner "creative spirit and person". On that day, db Foster, the artist was born. 

Lacking technical confidence in his art making skill sets, and desiring an absolute artistic journey of self-discovery without external influences or pressures,  Foster philosophically and strategically redesigned his life. At the core of his guiding principle: Shut out all of the voices and noise of the external world, and listen deeply for your inner “creative voice” and follow it. 

Foster developed his art practice quietly and patiently through a deliberate process of isolated art making. He never anticipated that his artistic journey and substantial body of work would remain sequestered in storage for 30 years. 

Yet, Foster states wholeheartedly, “Patience is a virtue with my art making process. I’ve waited many years for the right time and place of my life to share my art. Making art is the most satisfying and important work that I’ve pursued and produced in my adult life. And yet, strangely, everyone that I know…knows very little or nothing about it. I’m excited to open up and share my inner artistic journey with everyone this year.” 

Currently, Foster lives in Oceanside, California raising his 5-year old son, Kenneth. He can be reached at dbfosterart@gmail.com or visit the artist's new website at www. dbfosterart. org.

Culture Report: The Secret Life of Daniel Foster Voice of San Diego by Kinsee Morlan

No comments:

Post a Comment