History is as relevant to the present day, as the present is inextricably tied to the future. Learning a history is easy. Ignoring history is hard, or at the least it can become exceptionally hard in time.
I consider myself to be a curious person, a person who listens more than speaks. I am interested in cultures… in differences. At times, I am taken by just how beautiful differences can be. At others, I am concerned. I wish to experience more of the former.
When it feels like the right time to contribute, I may use; metal, fabric, wax or glass to communicate my ideas. Sometimes I’ll use time-based video, a camera or pencil.
Often it is not the time to do any of this. Sometimes observation is all that's right. At other times, it may be time to clean it all out, to go for a hike, or to attend a regular yoga class. I find these activities important in my artistic process.
As an Professor of photography, I regularly find myself at a podium far from my home or within my own community. At other times I may be found in a 4 hour intensely rich critique. As one might feel vulnerable when sharing at this level, I feel fortunate that my students trust me enough to risk sharing their deepest held beliefs with me and with their fellow students.
I have been fortunate to have had numerous art projects and commissions across the country and abroad. I see this as an extension of my youth, when I would leave my home on my bike and return in the evening. Along the way I would explore new destinations. When possible, I would never return home using the same route that I had used that morning.
My art practice can be broken down into four groups. At times I’m a curator, a conceptual artist, a social documentarian, or an idea-based portraitist. I suppose if there is an umbrella over it all, I would say that I am a person who is a student of people, of social justice, and I’m definitely a student of joy.
Daniel M Levin, M.F.A in Visual Art
portrait location: the Netherlands