From skateboarding throughout the streets of Seattle to painting murals in Los Angeles, Danny Minnick transforms from pro-skater to LA public artist.
By Olivia Otsuki
When you enter his Hollywood Hills studio, you are hit with the smell of linseed oil from dozens of oil sticks and tubes of oil paint. You notice walls covered in canvases, skateboards with paintings on them, and his Character Stickman, made with painted pieces of plywood. In one corner, vinyl records are stacked against the wall, and Miles Davis sings Bitches Brew into his studio. Danny Minnick sits in a school desk, covered in layers of drips and splatters of paint.
The first piece he shows me is a recent painting of the Olympics. The painting is full of colors, the Olympic circles, and a big, blue policeman. “Skateboarding is the first Olympic sport that people have been arrested for,” says Minnick.
After a leg injury forced him to take a break from skating, he picked up the brush. First, doodling on his skateboards with paint pens, which eventually evolved into oil sticks, oil paints, canvases, and, finally, object painting. Now, he is consistently working on between ten to 20 paintings at a time. “[The ideas] come to me in my dreams, in the morning I let my conscious flow,” says Minnick.
He calls this his “work force energy.”
“The energy I use to throw in the board, I manifest with a brush. Check out the floor pieces – they jump,” says Minnick.
The floors are covered in craft paper where his floorboards are missing. For Minnick’s most recent project, he removed the floors he has been painting on for almost an entire year now. Since last March, he sketched on the floor before he moved to the final draft of his paintings. “It’s rehearsal on the ground. Repetition. It is the work and energy from a whole year.” There are layers and layers of sketches and drawings of his character, paw prints from dogs, and footprints from friends, and an outline of where Jessica Alba stood when she came over to do a collaborative painting. He cut the floorboard into pieces, took each piece out – one-by-one – to get it out of his studio, and put it back together again to be placed in metal frames.
The floor pieces are moving snapshots from the past year of his life. He aims to capture the moment in much of his work. “I paint in this moment, in this time, what I feel and what I see,” says Minnick. “The artist, in our time, makes people aware of what’s going on in the world.”
An inspiration for his first solo show at De Re Gallery, Power to the Planet, was to spread awareness about how humans are destroying nature’s creatures and the planet. To contribute, all sales from the exhibition will go to World Wildlife Fund.
He aims to spread positivity and hopes that his positive energy will inspire those around him and those who view his artwork.”The universe will provide for you,” says Minnick. “As long as you do work and believe in it, beautiful things will come out of it. It isn’t about the result – people are so results oriented. It is about the journey.”