You have probably heard of Daniel Arsham, the famous artist from the United States, but what do you know exactly about him? His name has been mentioned numerous times in the media, and he has also done many collaborations, but do you know why exactly he was named one of the top 100 influencers in the industry?
In this article we are going to introduce you to his art, his biography, and history. So if you are interested to learn more about this influential and fascinating American artist, stay tuned for more!
Who Is Daniel Arsham?
Daniel Arsham is an American artist who lives and works in New York City currently. He was born on September 8 in 1980 in Cleveland, Ohio. However, he was raised in Miami, Florida, where he attended the Cooper Union in New York City and eventually received the Gelman Trust Fellowship Award in 2003. In 2004 he participated in a group show “Miami Nice” at the Paris’ Galerie Perrotin and in 2005 the gallery started representing him. It was the legendary choreographer Merce Cunningham that scouted him to design the set of his work “eyeSpace.” And that was just the beginning of many collaborations that he do in the future. What is amazing is the fact that Daniel was the youngest artist to join this work, some of the others included Robert Rauschenberg, Andy Warhol, and Frank Stella. This company enabled Daniel to tour the world and it meant a lot to him because just a few years later in 2009 Cunningham died.
Hedi Slimane was the next artist who commissioned Daniel to design the fitting rooms of Dior’s next store in Los Angeles. They were supposed to look flagship and fancy. The only catch was that the rooms had to contain only a hook, seat and mirror. Daniel turned this into his signature design that consisted of melting walks and mirrors embedded in the holes. He later collaborated with Dior again, of course.
After that Daniel collaborated with Jonah Bokaer. What they shared was the mutual love for space so they decided to transform and manipulate it in their own way. They debuted their work named “Wrinkle” in 2007. They also went to collaborate on the 2009’s “Replica,” 2010’s “Recess,” and 2011’s “Why Patterns.” They also collaborated with Pharrell Williams in 2016 on his work “Rules of the Game,” which consisted of Daniel’s design and Bokaer’s choreography. However, this is not the first time they collaborated with Pharrell – in 2013 they recreated his first keyboard, the Casio MT-500, and it represented the dystopian future and a look at the degraded objects from the current modern age.
A few years later, in 2007 he founded a firm called Snarkitecture with a parent Alex Mustonen. The goal was to create a company that would combine architecture and fashion, including interior design and fashionable functional objects. This multidisciplinary practice became his most well-known project because it used sculpture and architecture. The name comes from Lewis Carroll’s “The Hunting of the Snark” poem. One of the works included hundreds of white Air Jordans hanging from the ceiling of a flagship.
In 2014 he created Films of the Future, the production company that was supposed to combine Daniel’s artistry from the last decade and create a place where all his artwork ideas would eventually exist.
It is interesting to note that after his family moved to Florida in the 80s, they almost died in 1992 because of Hurricane Andrew which ripped apart the whole Miami. It is this event that made Daniel interested in architecture. He was looking at torn-up houses and buildings and became fascinated with “what was inside them” and how easily nature could destroy something that humans had been building for months.
In 2019, Sharkitecture opened the first permanent residence in Hudson Yards. They set their exhibition “Lost and Found” there which has hidden visual surprised for the visitors.
Let’s take a look at some of Daniel’s most important and famous collaborations:
He collaborated with the French fashion designer Hedi Slimane in 2005. He designed the fitting rooms for Dior’s shop in Los Angeles. This was just the beginning of a successful series of collaborations.
He collaborated with the modern dance choreographer Merce Cunningham in 2006. He designed the set, lighting and costumes for Cunningham’s piece "eyeSpace." He was the youngest and the last artist to collaborate with him.
In 2007, he collaborated with the American choreographer Jonah Bokaer. They collaborated on "REPLICA," a piece that incorporates built space, objects, and lighting. It premiered at IVAM in Valencia, Spain. Their next work was called “Why Patterns.”
As we already mentioned, this was the biggest, most well-known and the newest project Daniel has been working on. He started working on it with the architect Alex Mustonen in 2008. They are currently working on a project "Dig" that would take place in New York City.
The Art of Daniel Arsham
We have already mentioned some of his most amazing projects and collaborations. He is famous for designed rooms, and for his projects that incorporate architecture and choreography. However, he is also famous for designing objects and sculpture. He is a visual artist after all, and many of his pieces were sold out immediately. However, let’s take a look at some of the most famous pieces that can be seen on his official website as well.
Bronze Eroded Basketball
The bronze eroded basketball is a sculpture made of cast bronze. What inspired Daniel to make it the global reach of basketball and how this sport is important to Americans. This sculpture belongs to his Arsham’s Fictional Archeology series in which he primarily uses bronze. He produced only 99 pieces of this basketball and they are all sold out. What makes this interesting is that those who purchased this piece also got specially designed the gloves that have to be worn when one is touching the ball. You also get the rainbow-foiled certificate by the artist. The bronze basketball is supposed to represent the past, present and future.
Pink Cracked Bear
The pink cracked bear is the sculpture made of plaster, fabric, and pigment. What makes this piece amazing is that each bear comes with the specifications that should be followed by the collector who purchased the bear – he or she has to crack the bear according to them, which will make each bear from the collection unique. There were only 500 bears in the collection and they were all sold out. You also get the gloves that you should use when cracking the bear. The bear looks very cute and has a blue counterpart.
This is another piece that comes from the archaeological series. This is the so called RIMOWA x Daniel Arsham Eroded Attaché series. They wanted to blend the past and future by showing the ways of traveling. The case is completely vintage even if the aluminum case looks quite modern. The case represents an object of value that was easily stowed away. There were 500 cases in the limited edition series and they were all sold out. As usual, each case comes with a pair of custom handling gloves, stickers and a holographic label that shows the authenticity.
Crystal Relic 001
The Crystal Relic 001 piece is a sculpture that is made of cast resin. This piece was inspired by the 18th century Archaeological objects that were made of crystal. As you can see, this baseball cap captures the light in a unique, transparent way. It represents the importance and meaning of sports in our modern day lives. It has 5” in height and 8” in diameter and weights 3lbs. As always, you get a pair of white gloves that are used to handle this work.
The Hourglass Blue is a sculpture made of glass, sand, and two cast objects. When you turn the sculpture around, you notice that one of the objects is revealed while the other is covered in sand. They are both the specimen of quartz crystal and they also have a miniature camera. They are 9.6” in height and 4.5” in diameter. The run-time that you can expect in this piece is around 30 minutes. This is a time-keeping device that can represent out time on this planet. You also get the famous gloves, a semi-translucent sleeve, sealing label, and a die-cut foam.
Pink Sand Circle
The pink sand circle is a sculpture made of sand, glass, liquid and exoplanet decals. If you wonder what the exoplanet decals are, they are patterns that have been printed on plastic, cloth or paper and they can be moved to another surface by the aid of heat or water, When you turn the sculpture, you notice that the currents of the liquid that are found inside make the sands to swirl and create interesting patterns – each time the object is moved around. However, no pattern will even repeat itself which means that each time you move the sculpture you will get a unique experience.
The Hollow Figure is the piece that was based on the Architectural Anomaly series. And it is the first Limited Edition artwork. This piece represents the scaled-down version of Daniel’s life-sized works. The Hollow Figure gives the impression of a mysterious figure shrouded in fabric but when you look at it from behind you see that it is empty. The life-sized pieces of this have been displayed around the world, but this scaled-one version comes in a sealed package and you also get a pair of gloves with it.
This piece of art is the collaboration of the JOYA x Arsham Studio series. This is inspired by Daniel’s time he spent at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) of Nasa. We have already mentioned his love for space. This laboratory focuses on the search for exoplanets thus the title of this series. What are exoplanets? They are the planets outside out own solar system. Little is known about them even though there are more than 3500 of them. The scent of the candle was created to be used exclusively within the Arsham’s exhibitions. However, this scent has been permeated all over the world and now a collector is able to possess it. Additionally, the candle is created by the collector themselves by using the two wicks and a canister of wax beads, which creates a ritualistic experience each time you light the candle.
This artwork was an advance released that shipped early November; unfortunately, it has been sold out. This represents all parts of Daniel’s practice: painting, sculpture, his own experience. What makes this piece interesting is the fact that it is the first look at the concepts that marked Daniel’s practice over the last 15 years. The introduction is written by Virgil Abloh, and the essay by Steven Matijcio.
Arsham Studio Standard Watch
The Standard Watch is a time-keeping device that was created in collaboration with Anicorn, a Hong Kong watchmaker and design company. This was a limited edition of only 100 watches. The watch is aligned at 11 am and 11 pm which spells out the words “Arsham Studio Standard Watch” and “Past – Present – Future.” The case is made of a stainless steel body and the package also includes a mechanical timepiece, an hourglass, button, a screw driver, and leather straps.
To sum up, we have talked about Daniel Arsham, the American artist who loves incorporating architecture with sculpture, choreography, and painting. He is famous for collaborations with various artists and designers and his works have been displayed all over the world.
We have also shown you 10 of his most famous pieces that have been sold on his official website. Some of them are the scaled-down version of his real sculptures and pieces. If you are interested in sculptures and devices that represent our modern times from the perspective of a dystopian future, then this artist might be for you. Thanks for reading!