AXOM Gallery is excited to be part of collaborative Exhibition of the Life and Work of Danny Allen. Entitled “SUNNY DUCKS AND OTHER MUSINGS”. The exhibit at AXOM Gallery features a painting, “Sunny Ducks”, which is on loan to AXOM from The Memorial Art Gallery of the University of Rochester. The exhibit will also include the collage study from which the painting was created along with another painting “MANDRIL”, and its collage study. These pieces give insight into how the artist worked in creating his meticulous surrealist miniature paintings. Other works in the exhibit include a number of collages that were never realized as paintings, due to his short life, as well as a considerable number of drawings, sketches and works on paper, that exemplify his thoughts and feelings as he struggled to identify as an openly gay young man in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s. His work expresses his joy, his guilt, and his confusion, as he tried to reconcile his existence as a gay man, struggling with his own spirituality, as he tried to find his place in a conventional culture.
Daniel Arthur Allen (1946 – 1974) was born to be an artist who showed exceptional talent at a very young age. As a draftsman who was capable of loose and casual handling of materials as well as meticulous brushwork that took on photorealistic qualities, his stylistic sense of line was impeccable and showed his fondness for Asian calligraphy. His work was experimental and sometimes whimsical as he mused about life, love and relationships.
Sadly Danny’s inner conflicts led him to take his own life at the age of twenty-eight. A major motivation of this collaborative effort, aside from celebrating the life and work of an extraordinarily intelligent and creative, yet troubled young man, is to bring attention to the plight of young people who see themselves as different or rejected by society because of their identities as gay, lesbian, bi-sexual and transsexual; often leading them to suicidal thoughts and actions.