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Daniel Kaniess

Daniel Kaniess was a professional artist in the most profound, most meaningful sense of the word.

“Art is often an improvisation that is driven by critical thinking and each choice changes the playing field, not only for the work but for the person as well. At the end of whatever creative process I undertake, my objective is that the result transcends the decisions I have made to suggest something greater to the audience.”


Kaniess wanted his art to be demonstrably human made while still professionally polished. Photographic realism, within his grasp, was not his goal. He wanted his figures to demonstrate the gestural movement of humanity, not the detail.

“While technological influences shape our perception, it is a challenge for the painter to put a human face on the change and establish a human prevalence. I intend that my artwork reflects human participation and that it be able to stimulate the senses that can so easily be numbed by the seduction of technological media.”

Whether working in the representational or abstract realm, Kaniess played with positive and negative space, endlessly balancing and experimenting with color, line, and shape. His adjudications of what could be hidden or seen, shared or withheld, led to his complex palimpsest layering and hovering objects. Kaniess’ compositions, which often included text, a mix of mark media, and improvisation, bred his expressive art language.

“As individuals, we all have our own signatures, and as a visual artist I strive to cultivate the personality of my own work. I am suggesting some of the visual language of our contemporary landscape.

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How an artist shares the vision was on his mind as Kaniess analyzed framing and presentation. He explored inventive ways of hanging paintings as he mused about the dichotomy of the preciousness of archival work and the ephemeral nature of modernity.

“The focus of an exhibition would be to direct an audience to become conscious of how they take in information today. As that is established, it would become understandable that art reflects this “how” in visual and intellectual ways. My work has developed to make use of this means of seeing.”

Why do we, the viewers, in our living world, have so much to look at but see so little of our lives?

Does seeing art take us to the past, the still, quiet voice of the present, or to the future of our existence?

Wherever Kaniess’ work takes you, art can be an optimistic view of life even when communicating the disappointing parts of human existence. Art can cause us to observe, think, learn, and reflect on our existence- it gives us hope and a future.

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