Danny McCaw is the youngest son of highly acclaimed American Expressionist Dan McCaw and brother to abstract Modern Artist John McCaw.
Danny began drawing and painting at an early age, where materials and family encouragement were in abundance. His youthful drawings and paintings soon developed into mature sensitive individual statements.
Danny’s life is constantly immersed in a rich atmosphere of painters, poets, and photographers, where the air is filled with creativity and imagination. Besides the constant guidance of his father, Danny has studied Art at the Scottsdale Art School, and with one of America’s leading figure painters, Steve Huston.
To Danny, the search for his own individuality is of the utmost importance. His art is full of honesty and creativity, and it is constantly enriched by his inquisitive nature, his desire to find his own voice, and his effort to create lasting impressions.
An Interview with Danny McCaw
How long have you been creating artwork in the McCaw Contemporary Studio?
This is hard because I’ve had a lifetime in the studio, from being a model for my dad to making frames with my brother, making creates, and all the things that go into a working studio. I’ve been working full-time as an artist daily with my father and brother for almost 24 years. We have had a few studios in that time. Our current space is awesome. It’s like Francis Bacon’s studio on steroids, or maybe I should say it’s like a studio with three little kids if they didn’t have parents!
What have you learned from working alongside your family members?
I’ve learned so much from a lifetime with these guys. You’re always encouraged to keep going; to push farther than we would normally. There is always support and banter. I feel lucky every day to be an artist and able to create with my best friends.
Are you focusing on anything right now, artistically?
I’m always playing with new ideas. I’m like a child fascinated and curious about the world around me. But, as of right now, I’m playing with paintings I’m calling multiples, and they’re kind of a play on design– like if Andy Warhol and Baselitz had a stepchild. I, of course, work them in my own way, but it’s the question of what those things may look like that holds my attention.
Are you struggling with anything artistically right now? If so, how do you problem solve?
I always seem to struggle with things but the more I start trusting myself and realizing that there is no right or wrong. When I stop thinking and start feeling is when the work and confidence build. But continually, I turn back to drawings the questions I’m asking myself.
How do you usually prepare for an upcoming exhibition?
I don’t like to think about exhibitions and time frames. I like to work on the paintings without the pressure of having to satisfy others. When I create work for myself, I evoke an experience within myself that connects me with my work in an unconscious way. Some works take months and others years. I love to get my ideas out of my head first with sketches then onto canvases. Then, I let them sit, and, when I’m ready to get back into them, I either finish or destroy them– building something new in the process.
Are you experimenting with anything new for PARADIGM?
I always love the way paint gets put down and abstracted. There’s a loss of control. I’ve been doing this for a bit now and you never can control the outcome (at least, the way I paint). You can’t predict how it will react. I also love the play of contrast or opposites and the endless proportions that you can play with them.
Is there a specific trend of theme, narrative, color palette, etc., in the artwork you’re introducing at PARADIGM?
Aside from the “Multiples” series I’ve also been reflecting on the pandemic and the importance of maintaining closeness with loved ones.
How do you know when a work is finished?
I don’t know that a painting is ever really done. I am constantly changing and, if a work sits around long enough, it will change just as I have. I always want to keep working on a painting, so I live with it for a while. Sometimes I can’t see what needs to be changed or fixed right off and, sometimes, I can see what I need to do. It’s like having a pebble in your shoe but I can’t just pull the pebble out. The paintings tell me when they’re done.