Born and raised in Beverly Hills, California, Daniel Maltzman has always been interested in pop culture and advertisement. His early career consisted of promoting the hottest clubs in Hollywood and running a successful business in the fashion industry. A switch to the art world was natural for Maltzman as his obsession with creativity and expression only grew with his exposure to the art scene that so profoundly impacted Los Angeles nightlife. Much of Maltzman’s inspiration draws from his relationships with people who have fast-paced lifestyles, fame, and fortune. Maltzman is also fascinated by Los Angeles’ contemporary urban settings and street style aesthetics. Mixing acrylics with spray paints and juxtaposing graphic images amongst figurative depictions, Daniel Maltzman’s work is captivating and richly dynamic. Striking colors and bold mark-making show evidence of Mark Grotjahn’s influence on Maltzman’s work, and admiration for Andy Warhol’s muses are consistent with Maltzman’s subject of choice. Collectors such as Justin Bieber, Eugenio Lopez, Paris Hilton, J.J. Reddick, Scott Painter, and Steve Tisch, are just a few of the esteemed owners of Maltzman’s growing body of work.
Action painting, which had its beginnings in Surrealism in Europe of the 1930s, came to full fruition in New York of the 1940s and ‘50s in a group called the Abstract Expressionists. Influenced by the Surrealists, who had re-settled in NYC due to Germany’s occupation of France, this younger generation of Americans is responsible for giving the U.S. its first ‘home-grown’ school of international art. Just as Jazz music was the first totally American musical form of international proportions, so Abstract Expressionism was a uniquely American language of art, which influenced artists on every continent. Even Picasso had to retort with his near-abstractions of the 1970s!
We can easily see in Maltzman’s work the quick, action-packed passages and brushstrokes which characterize the New York School -- but here imbued with SoCal youthfulness and glamour! (The Italian art historians, starting in the Renaissance, noticed artists who were quick and confident in their brushwork, too. Words like ‘bravura,’ ‘bravado,’ and ‘sprezzatura’ [‘rehearsed spontaneity’] came to describe artists whose works were marked by ‘effortless’ flow, energy, and movement – even as far back as the 1500s!) All of these terms apply to Maltzman’s zest and action in paint. While a classical style relies upon an under-drawing to carefully outline the paints in a work of art, Maltzman’s style flows over outlines in a spontaneous technique that takes years and years to master. If it can be called loose or painterly, it takes expert experience to capture the happy ‘accidents’ and ‘of-the-moment verve’ in action painting. Risk is the keyword, but intuitive control is the watchword, even as ‘molecules’ of pigment fly around under the influence of physics and the artist’s dynamic wrist, hands, and body! When viewing a Maltzman work, take note of the curvy ‘arabesques’ and splashy ‘counter-currents’ which are delivered to the canvas in a split-second’s controlled chaos! Even drips are left in, adding to the spontaneity of each work.
Completing the spectrum are Maltzman’s separate collections: the Shadow Series, which owes part of its forms to Giacometti, the early 20th-century sculptural master, and the Abstract Series, which owes a nod to the great German of our own time Gerhard Richter.
2009 - 12 "Incognito" Santa Monica Museum of Art, CA