Artist Statement

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

A sleeping disorder led me to a decades-long practice of Tibetan Dream Yoga. As a child I suffered from parasomnia and somnambulism; nightmares that resulted in walking in my sleep until I was 23 years old.

My mother located the only Tibetan Monk on the North Side of Chicago. He taught me to navigate through the mysterious nocturnal worlds I found myself swimming in. I learned how to remain conscious while in a sleep state and recognize the dream while awake. This helped me evolve out of a life-controlling sleep disorder. You might say it was the first art I mastered.

As a result, I have always gravitated to the surreal and those that participate in the world with a unique vision. Initially, I painted the archetypal relationship with our spiritual selves and this evolved into painting our relationship to our inner male/female connection. I then explored painting our relationship to our own creativity; inspired by San Francisco’s cirque nouveau culture.

After the destruction of millions of acres of forests and its denizens in California, followed by my losing a year and a half battle to save a grove of old-growth trees, my relationship with nature changed. The blur between the physical world and the spirit world has become the focus of my paintings. We can not be balanced or healthy when we remove our relationship to nature. We must all learn to exist in the fault lines or bardos between two existing worlds.

“Beauty and art matter to me; it is the soul of a culture and is especially important during times of poverty or war. Helping people re-learn how to connect their inner and outer world by visual literacy is vital to our growth as a species”.