Daniel van Nes – Art Beyond

Opening 13 03 Christina Bakuchava (12).jpg Circuit Circus: SellFable Citizen (Photo by Christina Bakuchava)
Opening 13 03 Christina Bakuchava (12).jpg
Circuit Circus: SellFable Citizen (Photo by Christina Bakuchava)

June 12, 2016
T. Ray Verteramo

A strong, slow, quivering hand holding the pen places itself gently upon the paper and slowly strokes upward, curving smoothly like a linear whisper, staining the image of whimsy, like a dark dream given life.

One line speaks millions. Daringly stylish as Alexander McQueen and bizarre as Lewis Carroll, this is the work of Daniel van Nes; frightening, beautiful, mysterious. Driven by both possibilities and impossibilities, escapism and Heavy Metal, no other artist was a better fit to illustrate the comparable visions of Dark Fortress’ glorious journey of abduction and transformation, Venereal Dawn — and Morean, Dark Fortress’ resident maestro and frontman, knew it.

“We connected like on that creative level,” van Nes said. “It’s like sometimes you don’t need to say a lot of words to know exactly what you need. So, when he asked if I wanted to work on the Venereal Dawn album, I knew that it was going to be great in the first place, so of course I said, yes.”

DF_venereal_dawn_luciform.jpg ‘Luciform’ Conté drawing on paper 297x420mm
DF_venereal_dawn_luciform.jpg
‘Luciform’ Conté drawing on paper 297x420mm
DF_venereal_dawn_chrysalis.jpg ‘Chrysalis’ Conté drawing on paper 297x420mm
DF_venereal_dawn_chrysalis.jpg
‘Chrysalis’ Conté drawing on paper 297x420mm

What sets van Nes’ work aside from the common market is that each two-dimensional piece animates the subject so vividly, the song can almost be heard in the silence. Where blood, guts, fire, trees, inverted crosses and pentagrams saturate the Metal art motifs, the Venereal Dawn collection is a complete package of color and shadow, weaving Fortress’ path that the album paved.

For Daniel, it takes more than just understanding one medium to achieve that accomplishment. With music being his principal muse for his own work, the connection was a natural one. “I think that the answer is in the fact that I, myself, I’m very interested in all kinds of music. While I grew up with Metal, I listen to Carcass, Deftones or even before that, I was listening to punk. So, every aspect of heavy music has passed and I’ve been there from the beginning.

DF_venereal dawn painting.jpg ‘Venereal Dawn’ oil painting 150x100cm, cover for the eponymous Dark Fortress album
DF_venereal dawn painting.jpg
‘Venereal Dawn’ oil painting 150x100cm, cover for the eponymous Dark Fortress album

You can see where in the music scene the record keeps going through the same tracks again and again and again, not going anywhere. Meanwhile, as a person, you develop and you listen to other kinds of music, you start appreciating others and I think the same goes for Morean.”

drawing_valu.jpg ‘Valu’ drawing on black paper 297x420mm
drawing_valu.jpg
‘Valu’ drawing on black paper 297x420mm
drawing_sfc neon dottr.jpg ‘SFC Neon Dottr’ drawing on black paper 297x420mm
drawing_sfc neon dottr.jpg
‘SFC Neon Dottr’ drawing on black paper 297x420mm

“When we got to talk about things,” he explained further, “we were working side-by-side while he was working on lyrics and music and the band was developing the songs and the tracks. It was a really natural process where I worked on the drawings and the painting, everything just came together. It was just a really great process. I don’t think there was any moment where I thought or felt not being free to do what I wanted. And from what I got from Florian is that this was exactly what he had in mind. I think the band, as well, was happy with the results.”

But, the journey didn’t stop there for Daniel. Since then, he has unveiled a project he orchestrated beyond high fantasy, called SellFable City, a living, electric-breathing entity to put The Matrix’s vision to shame. “The world that I’m working on that I’m kind of discovering…and the works that come from that world is actually not a manmade world. It’s just some parallel universe thing that kind of creeps into our world. And this world is ready to take over this world – it’s drawn by the electricity that we use and the energy that we have within ourselves.

I don’t even see it as one story. I see it as an actual world that, maybe, I have to explain a little background – it’s a very complicated concept I’ve been working on for years.”

SFC_circuit_circus_drawing_6f.jpg Circuit Circus: Charcoal drawing on paper, for virtual reality 200x100cm. Title: ‘6F’
SFC_circuit_circus_drawing_6f.jpg
Circuit Circus: Charcoal drawing on paper, for virtual reality 200x100cm. Title: ‘6F’

The SellFable City’s debut, Circuit Circus exhibition at TETEM in Enschede, Netherlands, was received with awe. “We did a performance and we’re going to build on that and do more performances more towards theatre. There will be more people involved than just me doing the art. So it’s going to be very interesting it’s also a way to make that world more real, actually really creep into our world.

SFC_circuit circus foto Christina Bakuchava-3.jpg Circuit Circus: SellFable City Charging Carrousel (Photo by Christina Bakuchava)
SFC_circuit circus foto Christina Bakuchava-3.jpg
Circuit Circus: SellFable City Charging Carrousel (Photo by Christina Bakuchava)

I know for myself, what’s happening is that it’s becoming more ‘real.’ I’m finding more ways to express – also, it’s still art and it’s still expressing myself through my art. While I’m kind of backing away from my name as Daniel van Nes as the artist and transforming it into the SellFable Archivist. I like to take things kind of slow. I probably think of things too much. But, it’s something I can feel becoming more real.

It’s like being in the dark in a full, complicated room with all these delicate things and you have to find your way through that room without breaking anything.”

The 80-page, full-color hardcover SellFable City, Circuit Circus (SFG Archivist, 2016) by van Nes, with downloadable accompaniment by Dutch composer Friso van Wijck, is now available: http://www.nessed.nl/product/circuit-circus/

Danielvannes_volt.jpg ‘Volt’ permanent outdoor installation with cortensteel and LED light
Danielvannes_volt.jpg
‘Volt’ permanent outdoor installation with cortensteel and LED light
danielvannes_voltnight.jpg ‘Volt’ permanent outdoor installation with cortensteel and LED light, night
danielvannes_voltnight.jpg
‘Volt’ permanent outdoor installation with cortensteel and LED light, night

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SFC_Circuit Circus foto Christina Bakuchava-8.jpg Circuit Circus: SellFable Machine Relic with illuminated engraving. (Photo by Christina Bakuchava)
SFC_Circuit Circus foto Christina Bakuchava-8.jpg
Circuit Circus: SellFable Machine Relic with illuminated engraving. (Photo by Christina Bakuchava)

SellFable City FB: https://www.facebook.com/sellfablecity/?fref=ts

SellFable online: http://sellfable.com/

Circuit Circus opening performance video: http://www.nessed.nl/2016/05/video-of-art-performance-at-tetem-with-daniel-van-nes-and-friso-van-wijck/

Enter Morean

darkfortress“It’s like analog levels, the same kind of energy is the raw force, which is there, which then translates itself into riffs and into music and into songs and into emotions that are connected to the – or that I put into songs and then I translate them into stories, imagery and into words and into my own head trip. I will get a song in an instrumental way, and then just open the doors, which I’m sure I don’t have to explain to you how that works, and then something comes. Then, I go along for the ride, or until I find something worthy to say that translates itself into a piece of art. It’s my way of trying to put a concrete image to this abstract feeling or energy.”

October 17, 2014

http://www.maximummetal.com/interviews/intresults.asp?ID=morean_darkfortress&idBand=1542

It was my turn to pick from the “review buffet” and I ended up with some Rammstein clone, a bunch of drunken pirates, and this Dark Fortress thing. I expected Black Metal, but I didn’t expect to be completely, literally entranced. “Venereal Dawn” stole time away from me. I had to listen to the entire project twice in order to be able to convey anything of what I heard to my readers. But, afterwards, I was determined to find out who these thieves were and make them explain themselves.

Fortress’ vocalist, Florian “Morean” Maier answered my interview request personally and with such graciousness, I couldn’t help but feel flattered. I also was rather surprised because everyone knows if you’re big enough to have your fans tattoo your logo, usually you’re too busy to be your own mouthpiece. But, there he was. In between composing for orchestras, preparing for a European tour with Schammasch and his own work with his own band, Noneuclid, we scheduled and rescheduled this damn interview 20 times over two weeks until we finally caught each other on Skype. Between his food poisoning and my being up at 6 o’clock in the morning, we were so pretty, oh so pretty…

But, it turned out to be one of the absolute best interviews I had ever enjoyed. He was a perfect guest; full of eloquence and observations, charming, un-rehearsed and genuine, with no reservations. He let me in with so much trust and color that if he didn’t have another interview scheduled, we could have easily bypassed the Energizer Bunny. He filled my palette so full of material, I hardly knew where to begin when it was time to write. He’s an extraordinary talent and personality amongst some of the most precious black pearls in Germany and The Netherlands’ Metal oyster. Dark Fortress became one of my new favorites and Morean, the artist and his work, became (and continues to be) a particular inspiration to me.

This interview was a gift. This man is important.

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