Artist Statement

Artist Statement
Uriél Dana’s studio in Jack London Square, Oakland, CA. The painting in progress on the counterweighted wall easel is Zygote, by Uriél Dana, ©2017.

My paintings are inspired by San Francisco’s nouveau cirque culture. These are not just people in costume but a rich array of human talents that incorporate theater, literature, aerobics, dance, poetry and above all, mystery. Humor and whimsy are also added to brighten the mood for what many consider dark times.

For over three decades I have been known as a surrealist painter. I have also been a practitioner of Tibetan Dream Yoga since childhood as a way to control a sleeping disorder. Surrealism is defined as the mixture of two realities not normally found side by side. These two paths are intimately intertwined for me. This is how I have lived my entire life.

In 2011 I consciously began to paint people I think of as “living surrealists”.  These are real people reinventing new ways to see the world. I paint them to inspire others to unleash their creativity and as a reminder to all that we can create our own, positive reality.

In the year 2000 I began to sign my paintings with my first initial and last name as it takes on a third, synergistic meaning. The Udana in tantric practice is the ascending energy current. It means, “to awaken”. I cannot think of a greater gift for art to give.