Cande Aguilar Creates Art at a Cultural Crossroads

Carving out artworks that explore the juxtaposition of Mexican and American culture in a unique BarrioPop style

Madre Y Mickey by Cande Aguilar (2019)

When we first launched D Emptyspace, we didn’t know what to expect. How would artists interact with the app? Would they use it as we expected or find new ways to share their art?

When we saw what Texan artist Cande Aguilar was doing with his gallery space, we knew right away that we’d found our next interviewee. By layering photos behind his artworks to customize the gallery walls behind his artwork, he really made the gallery space his own.

Aguilar lives in Brownsville, a city in south Texas that borders Mexico both physically and culturally. His distinctive BarrioPop style combines found images and symbols from pop culture into multimedia creations. Working on large wooden panels from his home studio, he’s created an impressive body of work that comments on the complex juxtaposition of Mexican and Texan culture.

Cande Aguilar’s D Emptyspace Gallery

What led you to decide to be an artist? Was it something you knew from a very young age or did your passion develop over time?

I was raised by a musician (dad) and a music lover (mom). My dad was in a well-known conjunto band and used to take me along with him to the gigs. I grew up listening and watching master conjunto accordionists, thinking back, it was like as is a painter watched master painters Van Gogh or Picasso create. The accordionists were real masters of their art.

Music was sort of like a doorway into the arts for me. Some of my first memories of visual art are of my uncles doodling on school paper, drawing lowrider cars, I just remember my little four-year-old brain realizing that drawing existed and thinking “wow, that’s something that you can do?” It turned out to be an important moment that would lead me to becoming a visual artist.

“Growing up I never thought I would be a visual artist. I thought that I would follow in my dad’s footsteps and my life would be music.“

In high school, I took art classes, but didn’t really think about it seriously… In the back of my mind, I was already jamming on stage with my dad in my godfather’s conjunto band (Gilberto Perez y sus compadres)!

I ended up creating a band after high school with a couple of close friends and stuck with it for about 9 years. Then, in 1998, I began to sketch, picked up pastels and oil paints in between gigs to make little drawings, more or less a year before our lead singer quit the band to have a family. That’s when I knew my life as a traveling musician had ended.

Eventually, I got to the level where I wasn’t just squeezing paint directly from tubes but mixing colors and stretching my own canvases to create a more accurate representation of my imagination. That’s when my art really started to take off; the transformation from musician to visual artist was complete and I had my first solo exhibition in 2001.

Conjunto Queue by Cande Aguilar (2018)

Do you have a routine or space that helps you get into creation mode?

When I started, I would actually paint outside. I had a little cargo van with my materials in there. And so every evening, come eight o’clock, nine o’clock at night, I would pull everything out from my van, put it outside and work through the night.

Nowadays, I work in our garage that I converted into a studio space. I tend to work only at night when everyone is asleep. I have 4 kids, and with all the distractions during the day, it’s difficult to get into the swing of things. So yeah, lately I’ve been working from about 9 pm onwards.

When I walk into my studio, sometimes the creativity flows quickly. I just pick up a brush or whatever medium I’m using and go. But other days it takes a little while to get started. I just sit around in the studio absorb the work I’ve done so far and enjoy what I produced the night before. The art always sucks me back in, and by the time I know it, a few hours have passed and I’m happily covered in paint.

“When it comes to actually focusing and trying to carve out some kind of image and form some kind of connection from my imagination to the surface of the work, it takes some time to myself.”

Your artwork is so textured, so detailed, so intricate. Do you specifically curate the types of surfaces you display it on?

That’s something that I’ve been recently doing at my exhibitions. I try to change the atmosphere as much as possible. I try my best to give the viewers a certain context of how the work can look in a different environment.

It’s funny how that worked out on D Emptyspace. I just tried to customize the space, and it worked, and I kept thinking, “I can really play with this!” One of the main reasons I really like the app is because it helps me put the work within a virtual context. You can see what the paintings could potently look like next to each other, like sketching out a model or floorplan. The app works as a practical tool, a lot of fun for me and exciting for the viewer.

What’s it like to make a living as an artist, setting up exhibitions, and balancing everything?

Some time ago I was kind of feeling sorry for myself and thinking, “man, nothing’s happening even though I’m having a bunch of shows I thought things aren’t the way I would like them to be,” so I thought “I’m not going to attempt to enter or make any shows. I’m just gonna paint, and keep making the art.”

Cande Aguilar setting up a gallery installation

And then all of a sudden, a few days later, I get an email from a dealer in New York who was interested in my work. And now I have my first exhibition in New York City, keeping me really busy and hopeful for the future.

Those ups and downs are part of the mystery and enjoyment of being an artist. When you want to give up, but then something happens and you know you just need to hold on and keep going, it’s not easy “making a living from making art”

“Even if art wasn’t commercially viable, I wouldn’t be able to stop painting. Even if I go a few days without spending time in my studio, I can notice my mood starts to shift. Art has a real hold on me… I have to work.”

Can you talk us through what you were thinking when you created this piece?

El Puente Nuevo by Cande Aguilar (2019)

This painting is of our international bridge here in Brownsville TX that connects the United States and Mexico. It’s known as el Puente Nuevo or The New Bridge in English.

I transferred an image of the Millennium Falcon from Star Wars flying over the bridge. As I do in many of my paintings, I juxtaposed mainstream pop culture icons, and/or appropriate from art history to form a sense of belonging because, in this region, we are not really considered “American” or even “Mexican”… it’s kind of like living in a cultural limbo.

So when locals see this particular painting they might think, “Oh, that’s our bridge from here, right? And, that’s the Star Wars spaceship”, making it interesting to them.

On the other hand the painting dives into the immigration issue we have. The Millennium Falcon has always been a symbol of hope in the Star Wars story and so flying over the bridge is kind of bringing hope, amidst all the negative immigration stories.

There’s this stereotype of the tortured artist, the starving artist, the outlier of society… What do you think about that?

I’m a family guy, I have four kids, a 16-year-old, 14-year-old, a 10-year-old and a three-year-old. So, as you can imagine, I consciously have to remain sane. I have to (and want to) function as a normal person for my family.

You can get lost in this in this artistic vision or whatever you want to call it. A lot of people become over eccentric and can’t handle normal life.

“I’ve always felt that I have to maintain a foot on the ground, that I can’t just come in my studio and forget about everything. That’s really important to me.”

Have your kids and life as a “family guy” influenced your BarrioPop artwork?

When my 16-year-old was around 5, she made this fantastic little stick figure drawing. And so I blew it up and used it to create one of my most recognizable paintings.

Along with her drawing, I appropriated local icons, the childhood image of Christopher Robin, and brought in a landscape from one of Vincent Van Gogh’s paintings. To me, Vincent van Gogh’s artwork has always been very peaceful, even though he was known to be socially challenged.

Land of Peace by Cande Aguilar (2008)

That stick figure and Christopher Robin are singing a duet, they represent the sister cities of Brownsville and Matamoros. One side the US and the other Mexico. Back when I painted this work, the violence first started flaring up in Matamoros, and I was kind of in denial. I didn’t want to accept that bad things were happening in Mexico, just around the corner. And so the title “Land of Peace” came up.

With my most recent BarrioPop work, I’ve been incorporating my kid’s old coloring book pages by transferring them onto my work. It’s a technique (image transfer) I’ve used from the very beginning and draws inspiration from the work of Robert Rauschenberg. I should add that my kiddos have profoundly influenced my work and continue to do so with their individual personalities.

If you could give every aspiring artist one piece of advice, what would it be?

Don’t stop working. Don’t stop. Don’t stop doing the artwork, don’t stop practicing it. Because it’s true what Picasso said about inspiration…

“Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working.” — Pablo Picasso

You have to just go in there and do it. Just go in, in your studio, or wherever your work and go at it. Eventually, you’ll develop your own voice.

Keep working, even if you don’t want to show your work to anybody, as long as you know you can do it, and you do it for yourself. That’s, that’s fine, too.

Do you see technology changing the way we appreciate art?

Back when I started in early 2000, I used to work on my pieces and put them aside for later exhibitions. Nobody would see the work until months later when I was going to have an actual show.

Technology has changed that. Now I can make a work, photograph it, and publish it when I want. Even if I only get three viewers on Instagram, at least somebody’s going to see it right away.

To me, that’s the moment where my art comes off of life support and takes a life in its own right.

So yeah, social media has definitely changed the way artists create and viewers interact. When somebody comments, either negatively or positively, there’s always something to learn. And I think that becomes part of the artwork.

Cande Aguilar pictured in front of his work “HAHAHA” (2018). Picture by @frontera_media

Tell us about your upcoming exhibition in New York? Are there any other exhibitions planned this year?

Cande Aguilar’s exhibition “barrioPOP” will be held at 81 Leanard Gallery located at 81 Leanard Street in New York from September 5th to September 28th. You can grab the show info on Aguliar’s Instagram page (@barriopop).

It’s the first show that the gallery will host; it’ll be a double debut. One for me and one for the gallery, so it’s pretty exciting.

I have another show, coming up in Lubbock, Texas at the Louise Hopkins Underwood Center for the Arts. You can catch that one from October 4th to November 30th.

Get more details on Aguilar’s exhibitions and body of work via his art dealer, Ric Michel Fine Art.

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Android version coming soon!

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Why Michael Dergar is Fighting For Inclusivity in Art

Why Michael Dergar is Fighting For Inclusivity in Art

Orgánico gallery in D Emptyspace by Michael Dergar

Michael Dergar is an impressionist modern artist, who’s made a significant impact on the lives of disabled artists in the US.

His passion for transformation and inclusivity are represented both by the work he does and the artwork he creates. Using colorful, rhythmic patterns, he creates impactful acrylic pieces that communicate his vibrant desire to create more inclusivity in the art world. His work truly is for the community he serves, with 50% of exhibition profits going back into creating more inclusivity.

“While I am painting, my textures, colors, and designs awaken another part of me that connects me with another world where time does not exist.”

This week, we chatted with Dergar about how he manages his art foundation work while simultaneously working as a commercial artist.

Explore Michael Dergar’s Art Galleries.

If you want to get a sense of how Dergar curates his galleries, you can now experience them virtually on D Emptyspace:

Orgánico / Vivo / Textures and Color / Beauty Collection / PERVAZ collection

Want to create your own galleries? Click here to download D Emptyspace for IOS from the app store.

How did art come into your life? And what made you decide to make a career from it?

Deep Blue Sea! by Michael Dergar.
“This is a representation of Nature and the opportunity of life! Dedicated to my dear collector MM”

I discovered my passion for the arts by helping artists with disabilities. I found my calling when I created the Academy of Special Dreams Foundation — a nonprofit who brings support, public awareness and recognition to artists with disabilities.

During my time helping artists, I became one myself. I painted privately from 2015 until recently for international art collectors. And after 10 years of providing services and financial support to artists through my foundation, I decided to go public with my art and launch into a fully-fledged career as an impressionist artist.

My personal motto is “I paint to help!” Most of my profits go towards the support of my foundation and other causes to create a more inclusive society within the art world. Being able to help others is something I’m deeply grateful for.

You founded the Academy of Special Dreams Foundation to help artists that have disabilities. What’s the easiest and the hardest thing about doing the work you do?

The most difficult thing in our able society, I find, is to bring people to understand that disabled artists exist and deserve to be included in society — regardless of our disability. As it stands, people (artists among them) with disabilities in our society don’t often enjoy equal opportunity, awareness or inclusion. And that’s at the core of what we aim to change.

Artist Michael Dergar pictured at an Academy of Special Dreams Foundation Art Event

The work that I do as an artist coupled with my volunteer work as a Founder/CEO of the Academy of Special Dreams Foundation keeps me humble and grateful. Without fail, it reminds me every single day that you don’t need to be rich or famous to make a difference in someone’s life.

I feel extremely fortunate that I have the ability to make a real difference in the world. To touch the lives of others. It brings peace to my heart! And it’s what I consider to be real wealth!!!

Beauty Collection by Michael Dergar

The textures you create are beautiful. What technique do you use to achieve the effect?

Ahh well, that’s my artist’s secret! Just kidding! As you’ve noticed, my signature technique is created through texture. Using multiple controlled layers of condensed acrylic paint and acrylic paste on canvas, I slowly build up a layered depth. To bring varied shapes and interlocking lines, I apply the paint emphatically with spatulas, spray cans and my hands.

I like to connect colors, movement, and textures to represent the individuality of the art collector that I am painting for.

My inspiration for my artwork comes from my fluid feelings. It is an interpretation of people’s energy and emotions.

When working with disabled individuals, do you find technology is changing the way we create art?

In part, yes, especially in photography and film. Personally, I think it’s a positive change. Technology provides many digital tools, venues to promote art and make opportunities reachable for many people with and without disabilities to be able to showcase their talents to the world. The D Emptyspace app is a great example of this.

Textures and Color by Michael Dergar

How do you set up an exhibition? Do you have any tips and tricks you can share?

Go out there and ask! You have to talk to people! Beyond that, it’s all about self-promotion and putting yourself out there.

Set up a portfolio, make postcards with your art and go to your local city hall to request public space. Donate art to benefit nonprofit organizations…

Use your art to make a difference! That’s something I’m very passionate about — it’s just a bonus that it also happens to be a great way to promote your work.

La Mexican by Michael Dergar. “This painting represents leadership and pride.”

Marketing your art is a vital part of making art financially viable. How do you market/sell your own art, and that of others (via your foundation)?

Our foundation does not sell art, instead, we enable artists to stand on their own two feet through our free services. For more than 250 artists, we provide a community, the chance to win scholarships or get financial support, and we connect them with buyers when requested.

Negotiation is between artists and buyers. We don’t require a commission or get involved in the transaction. The foundation simply provides an online presence and financial support so people get to know our artists for their talents and not for their disabilities.

In a personal capacity, I promote myself via social media. I do this by creating my own marketing videos. I’ve been lucky as an artist — people like what I create. I have several art collectors who buy my work regularly.

I also collaborate with organizations in the USA and Mexico who are interested in holding what I call “inclusive art exhibitions”. From those exhibits, I donate more than 50% of the total profits towards improving inclusivity in the arts as well as cultivating public awareness.

Reunite by Michael Dergar. “Reunite is an interpretation of waiting for a new beginning after a long and difficulty journey.”

When are your next show dates?

I’d like to extend an invitation to all readers to attend our next exhibition on October 10th, 2019 at the Los Ángeles City Hall in LA. We’ll be featuring some talented disabled artists who work with the foundation. You won’t want to miss it!

If you’re in Turkey this October to November, please join me for a personal exhibition for which the proceeds will benefit those living in the community with disabilities. Click here to contact me for more details.

And in Mexico for November 2019, we are sponsoring an inclusive art exhibition in Oaxaca. It’ll be in collaboration with the famous artist Maru Pombo and will be hosted by Hotel CasAntica.

These exhibitions are a testament that we all can make a difference. I repeat is again, I paint to help. If I can make a difference with my talent, I will. And I encourage you to do the same! Art has no borders! Art is a universal language that brings people together. Let’s use it.

Explore Michael Dergar’s Art Galleries.

If you want to get a sense of how Dergar curates his galleries, you can now experience them virtually on D Emptyspace:

Orgánico / Vivo / Textures and Color / Beauty Collection / PERVAZ collection

PERVAZ collection Michael Dergar

Download D Emptyspace for iOS:

Android version coming soon!

Follow D Emptyspace for more company updates and art-curated content!

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Download


The Science of Abstract Art with Daniel Stuelpnagel

The Science of Abstract Art with Daniel Stuelpnagel

If Thou And Nature Can So Gently Part by Daniel Stuelpnagel (2019)

One of the most incredible things about art is how it connects people.

This week we’re talking to Baltimore-based artist Daniel Stuelpnagel. Working abstractly with acrylics, he’s created over 850 pieces and participated in more than 100 exhibitions.

Stuelpnagel studied with Herb Jackson at Davidson College in North Carolina. He now works from a studio near Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.

Throughout his career, he has practiced philanthropy and donated some of his best works to causes and communities in need.

Experimental D Emptyspace gallery. Images and curation by Daniel Stuelpnagel

What led you to decide to be an artist? Was it something you knew from a very young age or did your passion develop over time? Tell us your story.

I decided to become an artist to discover all the things I never learned in school.

What led me to the decision was a combination of frustration with working an office job for eight years, mixed with a vision of a life in art. I’ve been painting for twenty years, and the past ten years with even more technology immersion. I create images in my paintings that evoke a neural network, or a surreal dream space, or an architectural vector space. So my broad interests in the sciences have informed several facets of the artwork I’ve been producing.

“I love being able to create original paintings that enable me to articulate a non-verbal conversation about science, tech, architecture, emotionality, and human psychology.“

I love how these themes relate to the ways in which we humans have adapted our brains to the latest tech toolsets of the new millennium.

Tech is a really new trend in our society that only goes back one century or so. We’re fostering so much change, yet always struggling massively to “keep up” with the intellectual and emotional and even physical challenges of tech.

I think if you’d ask twelve people about tech, you’d get twelve different answers. But all of them would say that they’re immersed in tech and their working lives are characterized by full days of interacting with computer systems.

So in my work as a counterpoint, I actually use kind of quaint, mid-century modern, “traditional” painting techniques and materials. But the hyper-stylized paintings I’ve been sinking my teeth into for the past two years are a synthesis of my own styles driven by influences from contemporary narrative surrealism, street art, and other movements.

Daniel Stuelpnagel’s art studio

So you can see my passion has developed over time. In my mind, the non-verbal nature of abstraction makes it a perfect arena for exploring intricate emotional, psychological and social forces.

Your process is unique. I’ve never seen anything quite like it. Can you walk us through how you create your pieces?

I layer acrylic on wood panels and use tape to compose many layers of geometric structure. It delivers a collage-like effect but it’s all thin layers of paint. This sequential process is contemplative and also dynamic, it gives me a lot of room to experiment with color and the psychology of composition.

I’ve been sanding down the surface texture and then painting additional layers to yield some fascinating textural yet subtle effects. An interior designer purchased six paintings from me recently — she was thinking of photographing and enlarging the images, but as soon as she saw the originals, she said that the texture made such an impact, she would only buy the originals.

I usually work in series. Sometimes with a dozen or two squares of various sizes, but more recently a landscape format where the land mass is comprised of geometry implying a built environment. This inevitably shows the implications of climate change and the confrontation between human civilization and the natural world. It means the mood of some of my most recent paintings is joyful but tragic.

Now The Fleeting Moon by Daniel Stuelpnagel (2019)

I’ve done about 850 artworks now. My artistic eye and decisiveness that I’ve nurtured for twenty years have brought me to a place where I actually trust a lot of my decisions and choices in the studio.

I feel really galvanized into action by the dynamic zeitgeist of the time that we’re living in. There’s no room for complacency and being prolific helps me grind under constant scrutiny without hesitation to turn things upside down when a new idea emerges.

Do you see technology changing the way we appreciate art?

Tech has absolutely redefined art and continues to expand the boundaries. It’s a force to be considered in every facet of the arts now.

For example, with the D Emptyspace app, I was skeptical at first, thinking “What does it do? Oh, it looks kind of simple.”

But after two days of using it to display and curate photos, I was totally hooked, and having a vision of this enormous virtual museum, or San Francisco gallery, or an art fair exhibition hall, or warehouse, or whatever, right?

It’s a kick in the ass for an artist to have access to tech that encourages you to take a fresh look at your photos of art and nature. It’s a great way to reframe a whole conceptual photo shoot, or storyboard, or take any kind of visual documents into a different scale and context.

Some Innocents Escape Not The Thunderbolt by Daniel Stuelpnagel (2019)

People often label successful artists as ‘talented’. Do you feel like your art comes from a place of talent or hard work? Or do you see art like your TedX collection, always Under Construction?

Ah, for sure you can see both sides of this. On one hand, you have to consider the continuous nature of practice; some type of hard work intellectually and emotionally to figure out the central design principle to focus on. Building the physical skills, the craft and improv, and the techniques and processes of painting.

On the other hand to compare with talent… where does that come from?

I spent much of my school years daydreaming, so I guess being pensive and in solitude gave me a very vivid imagination. I also inherited a ton of intellectual and analytical talents from both my parents.

But that raw talent had nothing to do with painting until much later when I did decide to pursue it as a way to express myself.

Art really inspired and enabled me to travel more also, so that was super important in expanding my world view. I found it’s mostly persistence and determination. Which they call being stubborn when you’re a kid.

You often mention that you work on collections simultaneously, how does that affect your process? Do you consider if the artworks will fit together or do you let the moment guide you?

I guess it’s just like writing a book and having plenty of blank paper or a proper space to work in.

“We’re products of our choices, and by choosing to be prolific, I’ve certainly made some bad paintings, but I also have given myself room to pursue lots of exciting opportunities and variations.”

Some paintings want to spin off ideas for other new paintings, so there’s plenty of catalysts in the process. But it’s only later on that I look at them together and interpret the themes and implications.

When you work on series, the best work sometimes comes first, sometimes later, but invariably I enjoy the visual conversation and curatorially it gives me a lot to select from, which is helpful.

Images and curation by Daniel Stuelpnagel

I would say the D Emptyspace app kind of takes this to a new level because it helps me take a fresh retrospective of some new work in the context of earlier work. The virtual galleries I’ve uploaded have given me a better sense of dynamic interplay, sparked fresh ideas to bring into the studio, and developed my ability to continually think about color and contrast. The app is a great theoretical workspace to analyze the visual characteristics of your photos in a new context.

Click here to visit Daniel’s D Emptyspace gallery “Vector Space Paradise.

How do you know when a work (or a collection) is finished? And do you have a favorite work?

Haha! I do have a ton of faves, almost every series happens because I keep working and feel inspired and encouraged by recent paintings that really took off! That’s another great reason to be as prolific as possible — you kind of have to be self-motivating.

I have a favorite painting from a recent show that is called “Nature Teaches Beasts To Know Their Friends.”

Nature Teaches Beasts To Know Their Friends by Daniel Stuelpnagel (2019)

It’s a return to a dreamlike landscape with some quirks, beautifully saturated colors, and makes me think of a theatrical stage as the psychological arena of the mind for an AI algorithm or something; but it’s still about climate change, human nature, and the post-Anthropocene moment.

“I’ll say a piece is finished when I think it’s doing what I want it to do. When I feel the continuity between the process of creating it and the act of viewing it.”

It could be an abstract story but my imagination connects and enjoys exploring what’s there… it’s evocative. Also, it needs to be elegant and well-crafted, subtle, effervescent, or alternatively raw and dynamic and painterly.

If it has the “wow” factor I know it’s done, which is one reason I love exhibiting: It’s great to get direct feedback from people.

What happens before you share a new collection or open a new gallery? Is it something you enjoy?

I do enjoy it — it’s partly social immersion, part performance art and part trade show (in addition to all the artistry and business functionality behind the scenes).

Artist Daniel Stuelpnagel pictured at Superfine NYC gallery opening

I’ve done shows where we have plenty of lead time before the opening and many others where we’re always installing a day before or the day of the opening, so every experience is different. Before it opens there’s an exploration of the work in juxtaposition with the space and that’s an artistic process in itself.

Before any show opens I generally collaborate with a number of people, clarify the concept, and run down lots of checklists to make it happen. But it’s usually pretty improvisational and that keeps it exciting.

I love showing work in Washington, DC where there’s lots of wonderful architecture. Baltimore is famous for having tons of vacant warehouses and lots of room for alternative venues which tend to be really spacious with high ceilings. I install my work for corporate buyers in office spaces as well.

The title of this piece “Most Good Scientists Are Romantics, “ plays into some very deep subcontext. The point at which science and romanticism meet is fascinating, and to some, conflicting. What does it mean to you?

Most Good Scientists are Romantics Daniel Stuelpnagel (2018)

That title was a phrase I saw in a great book by Alanna Mitchell called The Spinning Magnet, it’s about possible shifts in the Earth’s magnetic poles.

It stayed with me, maybe it’s a deep dualism that is part of my world view; I think the age of supercomputing has forced many different scientific disciplines to work together and collaborate as never before and the results have been amazing.

So I think the romanticism is partly this moment of expansion for so many in the sciences that may have invested decades pursuing a particular narrow specialty, so in a sense, I think their optimism has been rewarded and I find that romantic.

This painting is pretty upbeat but still reflects a lot of consideration and discernment.

Navigating the art world can be baffling for artists, how has your time as a TedXJHU artist changed your career?

Daniel Stuelpnagel’s banner installation at TedXJHU

That particular experience two years ago was me getting to team up with a dozen students at Johns Hopkins University. They had so many great ideas, we did a collab for about two months where I came up with a large banner for the stage, a sculptural display installation for the atrium of the building, another dozen paintings and a wall collage, and four separate installations all for a one-day event. They had to provide, like, three dozen students to help install and load out everything!

I met so many international students, so I think it acquainted me in a fresh and direct way with the kind of energy level that makes a world-class artist.

Daniel Stuelpnagel pictured with students and installation of his works at TedXJHU

Almost the greater challenge with navigating the art world is that we actually have to create it ourselves. So if it’s baffling, it takes us back to the studio and back to the process of self-examination, which brings us to create work that is so distinctive that the sentiments behind it are felt as universal.

It helps to discover a unique connection and find out who can really appreciate your work the more distinctive it is.

I find architects, designers, and corporate clients especially appreciate my paintings for the lengths I go to in order to create an aesthetic durability, and a piece that will continue to intrigue the eye for a lifetime, yet also rewards a quick glance with a clear feeling and unified aesthetic.

A painting in progress by Daniel Stuelpnagel

What advice would you give an aspiring artist who’s just getting started?

I’d say how important it is to find ways to contribute to the community. I’ve been doing philanthropy by choosing to donate some of my best work for charity benefit auctions since day one.

It’s been about fifty or more pieces so far, and it’s connected me to a global community of artists and philanthropists that made me realize I could have an immediate and continuous positive impact in the world.

You’re using D Emptyspace to curate galleries now. What do you think of it?

It’s like an ideal multi-million dollar museum space built in Minecraft. It’s so specific and useful yet so versatile and adaptable as a visualization tool.

It really has great implications and I believe this app could even inspire a whole new generation of curators.

Download D Emptyspace on iOS:

Android version coming soon!

Follow D Emptyspace for more company updates and art-curated content!

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