Daniel Toumine: Painting, Structure and The Built Environment
For people who haven’t seen your work before, give us an overview of your background and what you do.
My work sits at the intersection between art and tech. Over the years I’ve managed to build up a body of work that includes poetry, digital artwork, and painting.
I’ve used art as a test bed and a way to work through questions I have about the world around me on topics including infrastructure, technology, commerce, and the built environment.
As I mentioned to you recently, I’ve been looking at your work for the past week and every time, I’ve wanted to reach out and grab hold of it. Both your later and more recent paintings have this great tactility. How would you describe what your works are about?
My latest work is influenced by platforms, commerce, and the built environment. When I refer to platforms, I am referring to platform technology that can be defined as a structure or technology from which various iterations can emerge without the expense of a new process being introduced. I guess you could say I consider my paintings to be a product of an iterative framework which functions on top of a series of enabling platforms and infrastructure.
I have always been drawn to the tactility present in physical art making, and I try to emphasize those characteristics in my process. We live in a time of rapid, and easy, digital reproduction so I think making unique physical objects (in this case, paintings) is in part a reaction to that ability to easily reproduce. With that said, there’s a sort of degradation or loss of information that occurs between the physical painting and the representation you see of it on Instagram— which I find interesting. I’d guess that’s where the need to touch the work comes into the equation. It’s a way to read further into the object in a way that the digital image still can’t provide.
Your newest paintings to Instagram are so strong and are being very well received, tell us about their link to architecture and what you’re expressing through the creation of them.
This latest series of work is called ‘structure’. It uses the Brutalist architectural movement as a point of departure. Brutalism is having somewhat of a revival among creatives but remains an eye-sore to the general public. It was the go-to style for projects in numerous countries during the post-war period, so it's something many see but don't really admire. But this aesthetic has taken on a new life within recent years thanks to dedicated communities on social media platforms like Instagram. Brutalism is graphic, tactile, mechanical, and repetitive so transferring this language into painting fit well within the contemporary context of creating a constant stream of content within computing platforms.
Follow Daniel @DanielToumine