DANIEL DU PLESSIS'S remarkable oil-on-panel Miss me, miss me, miss me has two skeletal hands holding onto a strand of pearls, working as a commentary on both "taking it with you" and the imagined loneliness of the dead. The panel's decorative black frame, a 49-by-38 Gothic monstrosity (and I mean this in a good way) composed of found objects (toy flowers, spiders and flies), amid polymer and epoxy clays, surrounds the image like a funeral wreath.
Thursday, October 13, 2016
AN exhibition pointing at the disappearance of numerous fauna doesn't simply preach to the converted; it can prompt the converted to action and can awake the convertible. Many of the works in "Endangered Species" are good enough to inspire viewers' care for their subjects, even when those subjects are objects of extravagant fantasy. Daniel du Plessis' exquisite neo-Baroque renditions, Moira Hahn's neo-ukiyo-e confabulations, Laurie Hogin's tigerabbit hybrids, Peter Zokosky's Renaissance-portrait apes, Robin Palanker's beasts in the bedroom, Marion Winsryg's television "interview" with zebras and tigers, the magical little sculptures of Sarah Perry — all these are motivated by an empathy for animals so fervent that they convey a sense of blanket endangerment: The animals go first, then we do. "Endangered Species" surrounds you with the subject at hand, and thus with the problem at hand. Pete and Susan Barrett Gallery, Santa Monica College, 1310 11th St., Santa Monica.
Peter Frank, Animal Spirits, http://www.laweekly.com/art+books/art-pick/animal-spirits/18456/ March 5, 2008
“THE artistic lineup at the Sue Greenwood Fine Art Gallery in Laguna Beach makes for a superb ensemble. Not only do the artists combine mastery of craft, outstanding figuration and spellbinding details painted with delicacy and precision, but their pieces have what a fine work of art must have: a profound subject matter that stimulates our artistic understanding.
Daniel du Plessis’s paintings have a luscious and magical 17th century vanitas quality with shimmering surfaces that camouflage objects, making the viewer search vigorously among elegant brushstrokes, reflective images and enigmatic shadows. Du Plessis’s art is a study in oppositions – darks and lights, beauty and decay, love and hate, and extreme heat and cold, as in the dazzling sun shining on a frozen, snow-laden tree. New to his repertoire, the artist has created several paintings where the frames are sculpted with assorted items – flowers, insects and creatures – as Du Plessis continues the two-dimensional imagery from inside the painting to its three-dimensional outer edge.”
Roberta Carasso, “A Lasting Impression”. Coast Magazine, April 2007.
“LOCAL Painter Daniel du Plessis opens The Disenchanted Forest this Thursday at the Fullerton College Art Gallery. You really should see his work up close if you get a chance. The man has skills.”
Chris Hoff, The OC Art Blog, October 2, 2006
“LET'S bury the tired cliché saying those who can’t do, teach. ‘Diverse City,’ a current exhibition at the Main Gallery at Santa Ana College, offers works by a selection of accomplished, multicultural artists who also happen to teach. Curated by gallery directors Mayde Herberg and Loren Sandvik, the show not only emphasizes the current trend toward representational and personal art but also, judging by the meticulously crafted paintings of Moira Hahn and Nancy Romero, the mixed media imagery, and the painted ceramics of Karen Koblitz, for example, a renewed emphasis on technical virtuosity.
However, the primary aim of this visually and intellectually entertaining show is to mirror the multicultural community that Southern California has become (…)
At the show's opening younger visitors gravitated toward the glossy, brightly hued, Hallmark-on-steroids collage/paintings filled with noir narratives centered on lugubrious blues ballads and the woes of love by Daniel du Plessis. “In my dreams, you haunt me" and "Wish I were in love again," for example, might establish the South African-born artist a cult following among hip art students in search of the sublime.”
Daniella Walsh, “The status quo, politics take a hit”. The Orange County Register, Arts & Entertainment, Sunday, Oct. 2, 2005, 14
“THE rich welter of culture and imagery that reflects the varied ethnicity of Southern California has been loosely gathered together in a thoughtful exhibition of six artists whose vibrant and baroque works of art tap into this multicultural vein. This topic of globalization is perhaps overused and too generalized, but because the artists Daniel du Plessis, Moira Hahn, Karen Koblitz, Nancy Romero, Richard Turner and Nancy Webber all borrow and combine many facets of the exotic in their collective works, there is a rich texture to the exhibit that pulls together so many disparate ideas. What begins as a thin premise finally delivers some unique works of art characterized by the use of vivid colors, complex imagery and offbeat subject matter.
Brilliant colors of crimson, coral, turquoise and green light up Daniel du Plessis’ claustrophobic paintings that are a compelling mix of Netherlandish magic realism and Victorian kitsch. In the painting “In My Dreams You Haunt Me,” a string of pearls, a heart of thorns, a pink rose, a fish with a diamond heart and a gold ring float through space. Other luminous paintings are filled with an eerie tropical jungle, floating hearts, butterflies, thorns and rings in a hermetic but intriguing world.”
Kathy Zimmerer, "Diverse City". ArtScene, Sept 2005.
“FOR me, The OsCene’s main bell ringer is the wide range of fantastic painting there is – such as Huntington Beach artist Sherie Franssen’s enormous canvasses that explore the intrinsic sensuality of oil paint as a metaphor for skin and flesh. Other standouts include: Tom Dowling’s enthusiasm for the act of painting as a vehicle for a slyly clever critique of American culture; the work of South African Daniel du Plessis (transplanted to Tustin), whose thickly colorful canvases create psychological environments that become fields symbolic for romantic love and the irrevocable flow of time; Jorg Dubin’s electrifying portrait scenarios; and Taiwan-born Charles Huang of Anaheim whose elegant compositions often reference subtle melodramatic anecdotes from a childhood marked by strict Chinese culture. “
Lauri Mendenhall, “Tapping into the O.C. Art Pulse”. Coast, Jan 2005, 100.
“THE Laguna Art Museum (LAM) galleries are decked out with a brand new exhibition – which opened Nov. 7 – that’s a testament to the quality and diversity of Orange County art. “The OsCene: Contemporary Art and Culture in OC” is so brimming with talent and variety that the viewer might wonder why a show of local artists hasn’t been mounted for years.
Daniel du Plessis’ oils, with other media, are romantic re-interpretations of 17th century Dutch still-lives. The artist, from South African and Dutch ancestry, reaches to his pre-birth roots, explaining, “The layering processes transform disparate references to Dutch vanitas and flower painting, Romanticism, Surrealism, and pop culture into images filled with associative potential.”
Liz Goldner, “Artistic Dialogue: Laguna Beach responds to OCMA with a many-layered show”. OC Metro, Nov – Dec 2004, http://www.ocmetro.com/metro112504/art112504.html
“ALMOST all the works here at LAM are terrific, really. Curator Tyler Stallings hasn’t allowed in more than a couple of dogs. And winnowing his cast from the 400 who applied must have been a heartbreaking exercise. And so we get all our favorites. Emigdio Vasquez’s hyperrealist urban Latino scenes straight out of the ‘70s stand next to Jorg Dubin’s louche and sexy portraits. Amy Caterina’s big blooms off blood scans (very like a Billy Al Bengston silkscreen) are positioned right next to Laurie Hassold’s aliens…Sensitive Kebe Fox has some lovely portraits outlined in fluid and glistening black, like a Japanese brush painting or some thick stained glass, right across the room from Daniel du Plessis’ dangerous beauty of a big yellow cabbage rose surrounded by snakes and gems and thorns.”
Rebecca Schoenkopf, "Now That’s’ What I Call Art”!". OC Weekly, Nov 26-Dec 2, 2004, http://www.ocweekly.com/ink/05/12/art-schoenkopf.php
“MORE than an exhibition, OsCene (pronounced o-seen) is a response to all those who question the artistic standards of the county. With youthful dynamism, this rich assortment of contemporary expressions fills the walls and ceiling of the galleries, providing a visual feast of enormous diversity, media, and inventiveness. How can anyone not be amazed by the scope of creativity in the Orange County survey of art?
Stallings, and his curatorial team, sorted through portfolios of more than 400 Orange County artists and visited the 40 studios of those exhibiting…The scope of vision ranges from traditional imagery to art that either incorporates technology or a new aesthetics that technology evokes. Some art is easy to read because it presents familiar forms of expression. Others require the rethinking of the definition of art…Then there is art in a more familiar vein. Torii Cooper sculpts massive self-portraits from clay. Jorg Dubin exhibits some of the most spell-binding portraiture. Emigdio Vasquez’ gentle portraits capture the life of Latin people in our community. Daniel du Plessis conjures mixed media, magical forests that are pure enchantment.”
Roberta Carasso, "Orange County Artists set the scene in the OsCene". Laguna News-Post, The Orange County Register, Nov 25, 2004
“THE most beautiful of the works belong to Daniel du Plessis. (As a full disclosure, I own a Du Plessis piece, a small one with morning glories and hummingbirds, that I really couldn’t afford when I bought it. In fact, I had terrible buyers’ remorse and refused to hang it for a long time, but once I did, the guilt disappeared quite by magic. I am not trying to raise its value.) The first of his works is a gnarled, thorny tree limb in embossed relief. It glistens white, covered in snow that’s almost gold. The second, even more beautiful of his works is a dense thicket of jungly vines and thorns. Nestled in them are hibiscus and asps and hearts, jewels of flowers and small creatures. Most important, they’re trapped under such heavy, crystalline glaze it’s as if you’re looking into a preserved moment in time, like the ruins at Pompeii, or the brontos at La Brea. Embedded beneath the shiny glaze is a fairytale land, stopped, unmoving, in amber.”
Rebecca Schoenkopf, "Do behave: New GCG stays centered," OC Weekly, November 29, 2002, 34
“…this is a serious exhibit of contemporary work that combines the latest state-of-the-art electronic photographic techniques with processes that are almost (but not quite) as ancient as photography itself.
Which brings us to Daniel du Plessis’ video installation. With the help off extensive Photoshop and digital photography, this South African-born artist created “flow”. A five-channel installation complete with motion graphics, sound and digital manipulation, this highly symbolic work depicts slow-motion image of roses and water – water that is continuously dripping, draining, washing, nourishing and flowing away from the rose.”
Shirie Gottlieb, "New look at a vintage world," Press Telegram, Dec. 6, 2000
“ONE of the strongest talents in the current exhibition is Daniel du Plessis. Already in 1989 I found his work exceptional: “From a conceptual viewpoint the work of Du Plessis is particularly interesting…”And again in 1990: “The painting is again, as it was last year, indifferent. An exception is Daniel du Plessis’s satire on the Arcadian.
Now Du Plessis produces impressive work. Monuments are crumbling. The work still contains an element of social commentary. He highlights the cultural changes taking place in South Africa. The struggle is transformed into a truly aesthetic object. The message no longer screams, but sings.”
Bertie du Plessis, “Seën, vloek van gemengde media,” Beeld (Kalender), June 15, 1992, 5.
( “Pros and cons of mixed media”, own translation)