about Danny Mansmith

by Catherine Schwalbe-Bouzide

Self taught. Innovative. Authentic. Stitched. Collaborative. Fanciful. Open. Cocksure. Colorful.

Words always fail when describing the artist and the visual arts they create. Danny and his work are no different. Danny’s art endeavors have never ceased to amaze me. His environments, that begin only to please himself, are what caught my eye and my heart the first time I witnessed his work. I slowly walked in to his space, created for an arts walk weekend, and was completely enveloped in all that is external to Danny Mansmith. His own garb, the chair, his works, and Danny himself blended as one. I didn’t leave the space, a modest 10’X5’ space for at least half an hour. Discovering Danny and his work for the first time is a vivid memory. I considered Danny to be a member of my family shortly thereafter. Most of us have a family we are born to. Danny is a member of my family that I have chosen.

Danny incorporates found objects, purchased items, things dropped off, and more into individual works, environments, sculptures, site-specific installations, wearables, and some wonderfully uncategorizable items. With the characteristics of a variety of fabrics and what their characteristics afford, he creates unprecedented and authentic works including industrial-machine-stitched drawings and patterns while seamlessly assembling works into pieces based on the human figure, imagined creatures, autobiographical topics, and all matters that “shoot at conformity” (to quote a topic and title of a recent work).

The making of art for Danny is the reason he lives. His one-man factory that is his studio, is a destination for anyone, art lover or not, looking for a person and creator that is true to himself first. The visitor will be inspired with the possibilities and forever changed from experiencing Danny’s work.

September 2008