Whimsy on Steroids

Dana Donaty is a ‘Tour de Force’ of an artist.  She is every bit as dynamic as the art she creates.  Her canvases pulsate with color and all sorts of lively and quirky little creatures that appear to be spelling out a curious narrative.  However, as hard as the viewer tries to discern some sort of meaning from the scene before them, it always remains a fun-filled enigma that leaves the viewer with more questions than answers.   And that’s the way the artist likes it, for ‘Enigmagnetism’ is Donaty’s middle name.   She enjoys leaving a lot for the imagination.

And that is what makes her and her work so intriguing.  Even while having a discussion with her, a person is always left wondering what is she really thinking?  Is she agreeing with me?  Is she mocking me?  One always denotes a touch of larceny in her voice and and an almost imperceptible twinkle in her eyes.   This enigmatic yin-yang quality permeates her persona as well as her artwork.

The group of paintings that I was most drawn to, has larger-than-life figurative elements taking up a large portion of the canvases.  They help anchor the work and give them a sense of scale.  Often these figurative elements take the form of a pair of legs from the thigh down either glad in dancing shoes, ballet slippers, or sneakers.  One of my favorites depicts a large lovable dog resting peacefully in the bottom right-hand corner of the canvas while tons of little creatures dance around him.

The artist employs a clever and provocative process to create her beguiling creatures.  While painting a canvas, Dana places a canvas under her work area.  Paint flows, drips and globs down onto the canvas below creating a haphazard amalgam of shapes that could be compared to artistic cloud formations.  When finished with her current canvas, she then turns to this artistic left-over fallout.  She employs a technique known as Pareidolia.

Pareidolia is a psychological phenomenon involving a vague and random stimulus (often an image or sound) being perceived as significant, form of apophenia. Common examples include seeing images of animals or faces in clouds, the man in the moon or the Moon Rabit, and hearing hidden messages on records when played in reverse.  In his notebooks, Leonardo da Vinci wrote of pareidolia as a device for painters, writing “if you look at any walls spotted with various stains or with a mixture of different kinds of stones, if you are about to invent some scene you will be able to see in it a resemblance to various different landscapes adorned with mountains, rivers, rocks, trees, plains, wide valleys, and various groups of hills. You will also be able to see divers combats and figures in quick movement, and strange expressions of faces, and outlandish costumes, and an infinite number of things which you can then reduce into separate and well conceived forms.”

Dana received a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree from Moore College of Art and Design in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1988. In the early 1990’s she moved to London, England where her career and reputation for unique artistic talents grew expanding her client base in England and Europe.  As a highly sought after artist, her portfolio represents a long list of art collectors, successful business professionals, celebrities, sports figures and government agencies.  After twelve years in England Dana relocated to Florida and quickly established her creative artistry with her fresh and committed approach to commissioned projects as well as her own serious artwork.  Achievements include participating in many highly regarded Fine Art Shows, Designer Showhouses, completing award winning public art projects, multiple awards within the design industry, high profile residential and commercial projects all exemplifying her remarkable creative expertise.  Dana has also been featured in many national and international publications. Awesome art is the result of a fertile imagination often influenced by great art, architecture and culture in England, Europe and America. Dana is very active in the arts community, collaborating with artists and A.S.I.D. Industry Partner.  Chairperson of the Delray Public Art Advisory Board July 2008 – July 2012

Selected Exhibitions

2014  American International Fine Art Fair,

Palm Beach County Convention Center, Fl

2014  Paul Fisher Gallery, West Palm Beach, Fl

2014  Art Synergy, Boynton Beach Art District, Fl

2014  Moore College of Art, Philadelphia, PA

2013  Scope Art Show, Miami, Fl

2013  Dcota, Dania Beach, Fl

2010  Ora Sorensen Gallery, Delray Beach, Fl