Friday, July 26, 2013

Dan Castle Interview Part III of III

Dan's book about a compilation of his paintings

Dan and his "Money Book"

FAUVE's Album "Blizzard"

Dan mentioned by FAUVE in their acknowldegements. Dan is currently pursuing a project with FAUVE.

Another of Dan's painting hanging in his kitcken.


Dan Castle's film "Newcastle"

Writer/Director, Musician, Painter, Photographer

I have no idea how Dan can keep up with all his inspirations. I have a difficult time writing about it because it appears like he is doing so much in a given time. I don’t know how to put his stories in one smooth flowing narrative. I am actually making it sound like his works, in film and painting, overwhelming which is not the case, they are all there to enrich the soul not suffocate it—His paintings are excellent examples of it.
He has a book out, aptly entitled “Sunflower Days”, a collection of his Impressionistic oil paintings, and is available on Itunes. While I’m no art connoisseur and could not give you an authoritative opinion of it, I can confidently tell you that his artwork, to me, evokes serenity and quiet joy. His paintings appear to personify his inner self, since his persona looks hard-as-nails rock star yet his paintings are as sunny and uplifting as a sunflower (Dan please don’t kill me for describing you as “Sunny”). On his website he cited Vincent van Gogh as one of his favorite painters. I read Van Gogh was also bad-ass, apparently he lost his ear in a knife-fight, look up one of his self-portraits and you would understand what I’m talking about.
Working on your art doesn’t necessarily mean creating it. There are a lot of actions to take to get to the end product. Fundraising campaigns, going to school, going places…those are small steps but one had just to move towards the creation process. That I think is what Dan meant about placing importance on the “process”. “A man gets to be immortal with his work and like other artists I just want to leave something behind long after I am gone…I just want to create beauty…so all the steps I took (learning book keeping, fund raising campaigns, going to school, travelling) are all the process to materialize my work”.
And so he does, create beauty and leave it for us to marvel with—like his paintings and drawings, photographs, films and music in the soundtracks in his film—to inspire us. That’s really the legacy he is after—since he himself was inspired by others before him—such as Pro Hart. Actually he and his partner Corey Page are co-producing a biographical film, with lead producer Philippa Pomeranz and scriptwriter Richard Burman called “Chasing Dragonflies”, about this visionary Australian artist (Dan is currently working on the theme song for the film and that they had just finished a fundraising campaign this June. Check it out on‎ ).
Speaking of inspiring, while Dan was in Paris studying art, he met the band members of “Fauve” in a pub called Frog and Rosbif. They must’ve had one invigorating and interesting discussion since Fauve wrote a song stemming from that chat. The song’s title is “Cock Music Smart Music”. The band is very big in France, they are an eclectic group who plays electronica and punk/rock/rap music; and even though I can’t understand their lyrics, I can understand why they are big. I’m listening to it, for the fifth time, as I work on this piece and I can’t stop bobbing my head to it.
Right now Dan is focused on his music and he can be usually seen in Canter’s Deli Kibitz Room where he sometimes performs during Open Mic night. The Kibitz Room is a Rock and Roll mecca here in Los Angeles where band members of the Doors, Guns N’ Roses, Red Hot Chili Peppers, just to name a few, used to hang out before they no longer able do so upon reaching their rock-stardom status and fear of being mobbed by hysterical fans (I am making sure to stay in contact with Dan since I want to see his performance again, and so that I can brag that I get to chat with him in the legendary bar).
Henri Matisse, the great expressionist artist (or impressionist, depends on who you talk to), once said “Creativity Takes Courage”. I see a lot of courage in Dan. His short film “The Visitor” is a gay-themed film created in the time when there wasn’t so many films created in that genre.
His latest endeavor with his friends, a biographical film about Pro Hart, the father of Australian Outback painting, sure won’t be hitting the summer box office bonanza here in the US—but he does it. It appears that he doesn’t care if he is directly responsible for bringing beauty or helping bringing the beauty as long as it’s materialized for all of us to enjoy and find ourselves in.
Over and over again Dan says to me “materialize it…create it…take the step…do the process…” now I understand that what he is saying is Take Courage, Create Beauty.
End of Part III
Note: there are so many things that Dan and I talked about and I have particular quotes from him that I find enriching but unable to coalesce into the articles. One of these days I will post them.
All photos and article are copyrighted.
Copyright 2013 RG Los Angeles Stories


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