I make images.
It has not always been like that for me. From my teenage years and onwards, I was fully emerged in creating music. It was definitely my vocation: Music was my life and my livelyhood for thirty years, the latter half of those I was a film music composer. Here, one might say, is where visuals began having a bigger importance for me.
But looking back, visual art had always had a stronghold in my family. My art school mum would often take me to Louisiana (famous museum of modern art), and my uncle was a very skilled sculptor and painter. My first fling with making photographic art was in 1985, but music was too strong a force at the time. It took about 15 years more before I would begin the journey, that would quite abruptly lead me to abandoning music.
I was simply swept away by photography, and wanted to learn everything. Setting out in the digital domain, I was taken by the analogue processes and proceeded to do 35mm, then medium format, then large format film and polaroids. One could say, that I was building my own very dense photography education. Also I took on a diverse range of subjects, where landscapes played the bigger part. When I discovered that placing objects in the landscape opened up a whole new world of story-telling, I started to feel oddly at home in art photography. When I finally began to employ humans in my images, I knew, that this was my calling in the same way that music had called me 35 years earlier.
The analogue part of my work came to a sudden stop, when one day burglars emptied my studio. (My beloved large format camera was later found in a container bound for Libya.) I chose to “go with the flow” and continue my journey with the digital gear I still had, and that is a choice, that still makes absolute sense to me today, as it for me is all about what image the viewer sees on the wall. It is not about my process nor about certain technical aesthetics.
My goal is most often not to tell a story, but to allow the viewer create one. Or make the viewer wonder what the story is. Because certainty is not a virtue I aim for. Sometimes I will have a fair grasp on “the story”, but probably more often than not, I just have a purely visceral relation to my motive. Like an inverse dream: Instead of being given the image (like when dreaming), I create the image and give it away.
Some have called my work “dark” or even “disturbing”. I find the world we live in to be dark and disturbing. Maybe not at surface level, but look a little deeper, and fiction will have no match for the darker realities of our world. If my work was all happy and pretty, I would be reinforcing the belief, that everything is just fine, and that job I will gladly leave for others. But if I can inspire an individual to look under the top varnish of our world or perhaps dare to ask questions, they have not asked before, I will have suceeded.
-Lars Daniel, May 2018
Based on deep feeling and emotional reactions rather than on reason or thought.