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 Daniel Oates  (1964 - )

About: Daniel Oates


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Lived/Active: New York / Switzerland      Known for: conceptual, cartoon imagery

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BIOGRAPHY for Daniel Oates
1964 (Switzerland)
New York / Switzerland

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conceptual, cartoon imagery

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
The following is from the artist's website:

I was born in Switzerland, grew up in England and have been living in the United States for 14 years. The question of who I am and how I fit in, has always been something that has continuously shifted for me. As an artist, the subject of personal and national identity has also featured strongly in the subject matter, form and content of my work.

My early, publicly recognized work, focused on how the everyday work that we do, to a large part defines our identity. The "Happy Workers" series are cartoon-like characters; the form is an abstraction. Many see it as a sarcastic comment on reality. Others see that there is some underlying truth to the exaggeration. We all have an idealistic interpretation of who we are and how we fit in. Whether it's an illusion or not, our interpretation of our identity grounds us and gives us purpose.

Settling into the American way of life, I became more aware of how history, tradition and myth influence both national and individual identity. It occurred to me that in the twentieth century, movies, TV, books, magazines, media hype, etc. have played a large part in shaping and distorting our sense of history and myth and in turn our identities. Since 1997 my work has focused on these aspects of identity. The works of this period depict open-ended stories, myths without conclusions; fragmented scenarios, evoking something long-forgotten or just out of reach.

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