Pauhaus Gallery in Los Angeles presents H@LLOW33N IN’D@ H3@T: An exhibition of Art and Animation, featuring works by legendary clay artist and strata cut animation inventor David Daniels (Film/Video MFA 85), opening Thursday, Aug. 11. There will be an opening reception with live musical and comedy performances at 7 pm.
H@LLOW33N IN’D@ H3@T marks Daniels’ first exhibition in 35 years and features both retrospective and recent work. His favorite new work that will be included in the show is titled Golden Showers – Fill Your Lies, a clay sculpture of former President Donald Trump on a crucifix of his own creation. The piece is something of a voodoo object, Daniels stated during a recent interview, noting that we need a will to focus our humanitarian efforts and scientific beliefs. Golden Showers represents the martyrdom of Donald Trump and coherence vs chaos. Daniels believes when we are divided, we are easier to prey on.
“David’s work is refreshing, you don’t see this anymore, work that’s created by hand,” stated gallery founder Pauline Aguirre. “The younger generation needs to see this.”
The gallery is a new space in Los Angeles for young artists, comedians, and musicians to connect and share their work. As Daniels stated, “What art movements didn’t have a space like that?” Through a therapeutic figure drawing class held at the gallery every Sunday, Aguirre met Douglas Einar Olsen, director of the popular animated show Rick and Morty. They co-hosted an evening showcase of four animators’ works at the gallery titled “Protozoa” and during the first session, Olsen featured Daniels as one of the four. Daniels had been hoping to do a solo show, and meeting Aguirre seemed kismet.
Daniels first started creating clay models at just five years old, along with his sisters. They worked to create two models known as Claytown in the neighborhood they grew up in. He soon began creating stop motion claymation films. “Animators create their own worlds,” Daniels noted.
Reflecting back on his time at CalArts, Daniels spoke of how he benefited most of all from supportive competition between classmates, and post-grad, from the CalArts mafia. It was his connection to the school which landed him his first professional gig with fellow CalArtian Paul Reubens (Theater BFA 73), who was creating a show called Pee Wee’s Playhouse. Wanting to have the CalArts perspective on this work, Reubens’ came to campus to seek out people to hire onto the show.
In 2002, Daniels opened Bent Image Lab through which he has directed many well known promotional spots for Coca-Cola, Puff, Honda and the American Lung Association. More recently in April 2021, he was a part of the CalArts Animation: The Early Years virtual lecture series, which was open to students, faculty, staff, and alums.