A perpetual humorist
Daniels’s work gently accommodates the room, with a distinctive palette of soft pastel colours and the occasional primary, the work warms the heart of its viewers and illuminates when the penny drops. Humour is paramount in his work, alongside visual stimulation through balanced composition and charming observations of nature. Below the comical motifs sit a sense of expression in his outlooks, with nods to personal sentiment and symbolism scattered throughout.
Joshua Daniels (b.1991) lives and works in South East London. He graduated with a BA in Fine Art and Art History from the University of Kent in 2013. His works span painting, ceramics, printmaking and digital media and are a part of private collections in the UK, US and Japan.
Flying Ant Day
edition of 50
45 cm wide
The picture depicts an anteater reaching for a paper aeroplane filled with ants – inspired by Salvador Dali, and Japanese Kaiju. They are either making an escape or awaiting their fate. The tongue of the anteater is yet to leave its mouth, and therefore this is a cliffhanger narrative.
Bonsai and Goat
Oil paint on canvas, wooden float-frame
Inspired by the seemingly impossible images of goats balanced on trees in Morrocco, Joshua has interpreted the surreal into the surreal. If you were to leave a Goat in a room with a Bonsai, would it climb it… It’s exciting to think that nothing is impossible.
Oil on canvas, wooden float-frame
Oil paint on canvas, wood float-frame
Daniels creates visually appealing work, which is instantly clear in message and appearance, making further analysis and interpretation accessible to the viewer. Here we see a witty comment from Daniels, as he nods toward Yves Klein – the famous french modern artist, whose iconic blue body imprints are a cornerstone of contemporary art. Daniels demonstrates the process of the art itself; his piece tells the story of the creation of the work within the work. The footprints of the imprinted frog are visible in front of the canvas; they appear to be uncertain and do not lead a clear path towards the canvas, instead hesitantly facing different directions, before the final act has taken place: the frog throwing its own body onto the canvas. The work comments on the moments of contemplation before an instance of sudden inspiration and expression. Ultimately, the piece is a portrait of the act of creating a self-portrait, leading viewers to consider the artist behind the art.
Oryx and Onyx
Oryx and Onyx is a peculiar combination which captures Joshua’s playfulness in title and composition. The title is a simple play on words: while only one letter has been changed, the result is two very different things. This could perhaps highlight the drastic results of a breakdown in communication. The fact that there is a thin and delicate tie between the oryx and onyx on the page suggests that there is also a loose connection between these two objects. When reduced to a sub-atomic level, everything is ultimately made out of the same matter. In this instance, both objects are created on the same page and are intrinsically joined. The thin string line loosely ties the stone to the animal, resulting in the animal appearing to tow the stone behind it, exhibiting strength in its action as it – an unstoppable force – attempts to move an unmovable object.
Greyhound at Whitstable
Oil on canvas
“This painting was made from a photograph I took whilst in Whitstable. I inconspicuously photographed a greyhound that belonged to a passerby as I had been wanting to paint one for a while, I happened to be struck by the scene that was serendipitously unfolding before me, the light and shadow, the texture of the dog’s fur.
The painting also takes direct inspiration from the Whitstable landscape, how the long stretch of beach is jarringly divided by the groynes, the crash of the waves, the sky meeting the sea, and the ochre land. The subject matter is deconstructed, rearranged and reassembled; the painting isn’t realist, surrealist or entirely representational, it falls somewhere between artistic movements and begins to encompass some of the variety of aesthetic styles that inform my work.”
Frog, Sushi, Soy
Oil paint on canvas, wood float-frame
June 2022 Open Call, Ryebank Gallery, Rye
Nov 2021 Winter Exhibition, Thrown Contemporary, (online)
Oct 2020 Artist in residence, Posy and Wild, Kent
April 2019 Blue, Fitzrovia Gallery, London
July 2016 Urban Environment, Jak Box Camden, London
Aug 2015 Let Them Eat Steak, CNB Gallery, Shoreditch, London
Dec 2014 Profesh, The Gallery on the corner, Battersea, London Dec 2014
Aug 2014 HIX Award, CNB Gallery, Shoreditch, London
Jun 2013 43 Whitfield Street, London, W1T 4HD
Jun 2012 Artistic License, West Kent College, Tonbridge
Jan 2012 Inspirations, Maidstone Museum, Maidstone
Oct 2011 Cocoon, Lyon’s House, Tonbridge
Jul 2010 There is Beauty in the City, Ezcurdia 30 gallery, Gijon, Spain