Surrealist art is often highly cryptic and the odd juxtapositions and ambiguous narratives can sometimes feel unnerving. This is understandable given the contradictory space between the subconscious and reality that surrealist artists navigate in their creative process. In the hands of self-proclaimed surrealist Daniel Merriam, however, the results of this process are entirely different. Merriam draws inspiration from both his fantasies and surrounding reality to create works that are both deeply pleasurable and immediately enticing. His imaginative paintings depict fantastical worlds filled with bubbles, flying fish, instrument-playing animals and tree-house castles, all rendered in dreamy watercolors.
The facility with which the viewer is able to let their imagination roam through the topographies of these paintings is a testament to Merriam’s artistic skills. He depicts what would seem to be the stuff of childhood reverie with such detail and precision that it is quite easy for our adult minds to linger in these magical worlds. Perhaps it makes sense then that Merriam was originally trained at a technical school in engineering and architecture. Now a full-time artist, he also operates his own gallery in Sausalito, appropriately titled Bubble Street, perhaps as a nod to any viewer who wishes Merriam’s visions would come true.