Contemporary painter Daniel Coston’s Memory in 20/20 opens Friday November 13th at Cantrell Gallery in Little Rock, Arkansas, and continues through January 9th 2021. “Memory in 20/20” will also be available for viewing during regular business hours, Monday – Saturday, 10-5:00. The gallery will close for a holiday break, starting at 2:00 on December 24, and will re-open on Monday, January 4, at 10:00. Call if you have any questions – (501-224-1335). Cantrell Gallery is located at 8208 Cantrell Road, Little Rock, AR.
There is a video touring, showing this featured exhibit, on Cantrell Gallery’s Facebook, so if you could not attend, please check out the virtual tour.
“My work is bound up in memory. Some paintings are specifically my memories, of places, usually. Others remind me of something that I have seen or lived through. In this show there is a painting of my grandparents old barn where I played as a kid. I climbed up into that loft and played on bails of hay and ducked wasps. I remember fields of cotton from my youth and the 1980’s in southeast Arkansas and so when we found a field of cotton near Tucker in 2019 I wanted to paint that scene. On the same trip we saw skeins on geese flying over flooded fields and that reminded me of similar scenes I remember from my time living in Dermott, Arkansas.
I remember corn growing in my grandparents garden and walking in among the rows of corn. My “corn scenes” in this show are actually from Delaware but I remember Arkansas corn fields from my youth. I remember my Grandfather walking among his cows, saying, “Sook, sook. Sook, sook.” (Not sure what he was saying.) So when a friend sent me photos of some striking cows from a ranch in Texas they became my memories of cows. A trip to Golden, Colorado gave me a ancient cedar tree coiled up like a dragon. Maybe it’s a symbol of some science fiction/fantasy story I read as a kid. Or part of a memory I don’t fully remember.
One painting shows a man standing in front of his Model T Ford. I’m pretty sure this is a photo taken somewhere in northwest Arkansas. It stands in for my memories of all those folks and cars I remember as a kid growing up in south Arkansas. Dust on the running boards. Creaking, squeaking doors and no colorful colors. I wish I had a photo of my grandfather and his 1950s truck. Which is one reason I paint things like this.
You have to make do with what you have. Human memory is not 20/20. Even a visceral, deeply emotional memory is not perfect. A photograph is not the actual event. Most of my memories are kinda fuzzy. A few are sharper but never good enough. So I keep looking for photos that remind me of my past. I make do with what I have.”
Daniel Coston is a painter and illustrator with a Fine Arts degree from Harding University. While he prefers painting with acrylic paint, he is equally comfortable working in pen and ink, and graphite. He is generally drawn to realism but enjoys working in other genres as well. The first art he was aware of was illustration which informs the work he does now, whether those paintings are realistic, impressionistic or abstract. While known for painting contemporary Arkansas landscapes, he enjoys “realistic” fantasy and science fiction and usually has one or two projects going all the time. He works in acrylic paint but his style is a blend of oil, watercolor and egg tempera techniques, incorporating pen-and-ink crosshatching techniques as well.
Daniel’s work has been shown in both group and solo shows and can be found in numerous public and private collections across the US.