Boxes, vessels, holes, jars, and bottles all hold something within. I believe this is where my use of narrative begins.

A wall of Daniel Minter’s paintings, boxes, and assemblages from A Distant Holla’ exhibit at the Abyssinian Meeting House, Portland

Through these common references, I tell my own personal narrative. This thread runs through all of my work. Viewers can then find resonance with these themes that may reflect their own personal stories.

Daniel Minter, “Resistance Faith”

An example of this type of imagery is 3 eggs in a nest, the primary incubator of life. For me it relates a story my father would tell of the guinea hen, from whose nest you could take eggs. However, you must always leave at least 3 in the clutch or she would become agitated and abandon the nest. My father used this as a metaphor for my mother, who raised twelve children. As they grew up, she became increasingly restless as the last of her children were leaving the house.

Daniel Minter, “The Industry”

Objects also become the patterns I use as layers in my work. The ovals within a circle, for me contain the whole of the previous story.  Another element that I use to carry forward a narrative, is the organic shape of the cotton boll with its beautiful natural form painted in the deep earthy red of Georgia clay. It can appear to be just a flower, but for me the image contains the story of the American slave industry and Jim Crow. The imagery can be beautiful while the narrative is painful and difficult. The narrative becomes a mixture of personal and historical.

Daniel Minter

Daniel Minter, Three Mothers

See Dan Kany’s review in the Portland Press Herald