Danilo McDowell-McCallum is a Toronto based visual artist. He works professionally as a painter, videographer, illustrator, graphic designer, muralist and art mentor.A product of the city, the characters depicted in McCallum's work reflect a diverse landscape of people. A graduate of Ontario College of Art and Design, McCallum majored in illustration and also studied graphic design and painting. He has exhibited and curated several group exhibitions. Heavily influenced by graffiti art in his youth, his mural work can be found across Toronto. As a visual artist and mentor, he has worked for over ten years with various community groups such as The Remix Project and Under The Radar/The LOFT. Danilo has cultivated his visual sensibilities working as a designer/illustrator with Seedlings Design. In 2011 McCallum and long time artist friend Chris Ak came together to form a videography based company named Black Iron Giants.
Danilo's first full collection of work involves a series of paintings that explore the dynamic between humans and dreams. His premier solo exhibition in 2010 was entitled “Dream Guardians: The Blockhead Universe”.
In 2013 he had his second solo exhibition titled "Starships & Angels". In 2013 he had a one-man show called Black Future Month, exploring the movement of Afrofuturism, which grew into a 10 artist group exhibition the following year, "Black Future Month 3014: A Collective Look Into Our Distant Future" at Daniels Spectrum. In 2015 his initiative has grown again and Black Future Month 3015 (The 3rd Afrofuturism Art Exhibition) is being sponsored by OCAD University. Presently he is working on pieces for a collection titled "Chromaspace".
Dream Guardians: The Blockhead Universe : The Art of Danilo McDowell-McCallum
Ever wonder why some people haven’t realized their dreams? Well there is a world in which our dreams exist before they have broken the barrier of reality and become manifest. A place not only created and inhabited by our desires but by our Dream Guardians, the Blockheads; each one with a personality, a body, and a face as real as yours and mine. These Blockheads enter our reality, attempting to communicate and coach us, their human counterparts, towards achieving our desires. It is at this juncture that our dreams meet reality, and where we meet the Blockhead Universe. To orchestrate this visual symphony of dreams and dreamers, Danilo uses oil and ink on wood. The use of oil adds weight to the portraits and figures, grounding them, emphasizing their importance and the individuality of their personalities. Linear elements drawn in ink float in the foreground, projected like an ethereal parallel universe to reveal a dimension of thought, of dreams, of the past and future.
“This collection captures a sense of magic - something from beyond - something unseen, unexplainable. Mystique, wonderment and escapism. In this regard I believe my art to be the manifestation of my dreams.”
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