Dan Lane

Born: Kent (1980)
Lives and works: Kent
Exhibitions: The Old Truman Brewery (2019), Village Underground (2017)
“Our lives are so busy nowadays, and distractions can leave us blinkered to the world around us. We need to open our senses.”

In his dark, intricate sculptures, Dan twists natural forms through mechanical intervention, presenting an industrial version of life. With subjects ranging from botanical scenes to skulls, butterflies, graffiti lettering and figurative works, his diverse portfolio of 3D and 2D art is a favourite amongst our collectors. His new Ace High series explores the historic meanings of playing cards, fusing his contemporary style with a little dark magic.

Inspiration

A former engineer, Dan hit the headlines in 2014, when he was featured in a range of national newspapers, magazines and TV programmes, including BBC News at Six. He is inspired by the sculptures found in churches and cathedrals around the world, particularly the over-the-top Baroque styling of the Italian sculptor and architect Gian Lorenzo Bernini. Nature also influences his art, with many pieces featuring flowers, insects and birds.

For his original 3D sculptures, Dan experiments with colours, finishes and textures. These include crushed glass, gold and silver leaf, marble, bronze and glass diamonds. His experience as an engineer allows him to construct concepts as physical creations. Constant research, development and experimentation with methods and materials, coupled with his ability to blend thematic elements, results in work that is simultaneously stylistically distinct and ever-evolving.

A common motif in his work is the hummingbird. Dan explains: "I use these a lot in my work and see them as one of the most delicate and beautiful things in nature. Nature has never taken from us, yet we have exploited nature's generosity. For me, this hummingbird symbolises how fragile the natural world is; yet with some hard work, we can fix things."

Featuring the Ace of Hearts, Ace of Spades, Ace of Clubs and Ace of Diamonds, the limited edition glass giclée prints and original 3D wall sculptures from Dan's Ace High collection explore his interest in playing card tricks and their historic symbolism. Themes of war, love, wealth and power are intertwined with elements of nature for a modern style statement. 

Dan says: “My work acts as an invite into my intricate imagination; my dark yet beautiful world of nature against an industrial backdrop. I love the idea of having something beautiful like a butterfly or hummingbird try to find its place and break out of the mechanical worlds I create.”

Shop Dan's new Ace High collection here

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Inside the world of Dan Lane

Inspired by the work of Gian Lorenzo Bernini, Michelangelo and Antonio Canova, Dan's Modern Relics series reimagines a classic style in a thoroughly modern setting. With authenticity in mind, he intertwines the exploration of how we treat our bodies with a desire to create works which look like they could be hundreds of years old.  

Dan says: "I have developed a technique of casting marble that gives it the right feel while also retaining the natural cracks and imperfections that are impossible to reproduce by painting. This alludes to my concept of these sculptures as a modern relic, as it gives the pieces a sense of age.  

"The copper finish is one I’ve also developed over time. It’s a technique which mixes real, hand-applied copper leaf with paint-aging methods. The aging method can be taken to the extreme by using chemicals to produce a natural Verdigris (a bluish-green patina). I love the warm tones of the copper, and it really helps the engraved or sculpted tattoos stand out from the sculpture."

For authentic inspiration, Dan also visits classical sculptures and buildings around the world. For his graffiti-inspired In The Empty Spaces collection, he visited the famous Graffiti Tunnel of Leake Street underneath London’s Waterloo station. Dan says: “The build-up of layers struck me. Some graffiti artists will do a whole mural, but then you also notice everyone’s put their little tag on there or something, and you get that accumulation of slightly different styles. The end result is walls that look cool because they’re so random."

If you like reading about our artists' studios, don't miss our regular Studio Sessions feature in Fine Art Collector magazine. Catch up on previous issues here

From the blog

Are you feeling lucky? Shop Ace High from Dan Lane's Coalesce collection

Inspired by playing cards, the contemporary artist's new release is fantastic for embracing this autumn/winter's maximalism trend and features his signature stylised skulls, hummingbirds and butterflies.

Graffiti art: In The Empty Spaces by Dan Lane

Made famous by artists like Keith Haring, Jean-Michel Basquiat and Richard Hambleton, the street art aesthetic is a bold form of self-expression - making it perfect for adding personality to your home décor.

Magazines and brochures

Dan Lane | In The Empty Spaces

Dan Lane presents his brand new series, In The Empty Spaces. The collection questions the nuances associated with empty spaces; are they actually empty, or do they hold real substance as a foil to the elements that sit adjacent to them?

Fine Art Collector | Spring 2021

Showcasing the very best of our artworks, along with behind-the-scenes updates and interviews, the new issue of our Fine Art Collector magazine is a must-read!

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