Menu
The New Contemporary Art Magazine

Looking at the Art of Escapism in Daniel Merriam’s Watercolors

The word "escapism" can have a negative meaning, suggesting that escapists are unhappy and unable to connect with the world around them. It sounds like a surreal concept, but in our every day lives, on social media for example, we find ways to divert from reality.  Daniel Merriam's recent exhibition at AFA Gallery challenges the notion that escapism is fundamentally negative. "It's not a sin, it's not a crime, it's not a disease... You think of escapism as being denial. So a little bit of escapism is considered good - too much is not," he shares. "Now You See Me: The Art of Escapism" is Merriam's reflection on this idea.

The word “escapism” can have a negative meaning, suggesting that escapists are unhappy and unable to connect with the world around them. It sounds like a surreal concept, but in our every day lives, on social media for example, we find ways to divert from reality.  Daniel Merriam’s recent exhibition at AFA Gallery challenges the notion that escapism is fundamentally negative. “It’s not a sin, it’s not a crime, it’s not a disease… You think of escapism as being denial. So a little bit of escapism is considered good – too much is not,” he shares. “Now You See Me: The Art of Escapism” is Merriam’s reflection on this idea.


Daniel Merriam, with AFA Gallery Owner Heidi Leigh.

Merriam finds a balance to creating a fantasy place where we can seek happiness. Where there is beauty, there are also elements of horror in his details; for example, cats are given human-like hands and demonic horns, and serene buildings overlook violent green seas. Escapism, for Merriam, is a mental diversion achieved in the process of painting his watercolors. We took a look at Merriam’s process recently, in our discussion with him about his sketches and stylistic influences. These touches of good and bad, which exist in life, are necessary to the image’s ability to transport us. The completed image then becomes a doorway for his audience to enter his imagination. Take a look at more photos from the exhibition below, courtesy of the artist and videographer, Michael Stever.

Underwritten by AFA NYC.

Meta
Share
Facebook
Reddit
Pinterest
Email
Related Articles
Romain Laurent's surreal photography mixes humor and disconcerting scenes, whether its his strange "Inner Dialogue" series or his subtly animated "One Loop Portraits." The artist has both personal and commercial practices. Laurent hails from France but is currently based in New York City.
Shang Chengxiang, born in Shenyang, China, creates bold paintings in which pops of brilliant colors are mixed with surreal imagery. There’s a sense of wonder in the artist’s works, often privately observed or existing outside of human interaction altogether. The artist is part of the group show "FIREFLOWERS" at Art Labor Gallery in Shanghai, running July 2-Aug. 16.
Our vision depends on two things: having a healthy eye to receive visual information and having a healthy brain to interpret and process that information. This allows us to see a picture of the world. When London based artist Dene Leigh's grandfather suffered a stroke, it left him unable to recognize faces, objects and words- pieces to the puzzle of our vision that he puts back together again in his paintings and assemblages of objects.
Ukraine-born, Paris-based artist Nikolay Tolmachev crafts provocative watercolor paintings showcasing a knack for elegance and wry humor. The artist's practice also delves in illustration, recently providing work for a release of the classic narrative poem "Kateryna" by Taras Shevchenko.

Subscribe to the Hi-Fructose Mailing List