Danny Galieote juxtaposes the imagery and pop sensibility of postwar America with an air of surrealism, evoking a menacing, dark aura in his paintings and casting a shadow over the historical eras they depict. At the beginning of his career, Galieote worked full time at Disney while pursuing his painting practice on the side. He began pairing images of innocent midcentury Americana—a young couple enjoying Coca-Cola or women frolicking on a beach—with threatening sights from the same period, such as mushroom cloud explosions. Galieote uses a grid to map his photographic sources onto the canvas, resulting in technically precise compositions.
Galieote’s unique style takes cues from the drama and technical prowess of Italian Renaissance masters and the New-World optimism of American painters like Paul Cadmus, George Bellows, Thomas Hart Benton and Grant Wood – wrapping it all up with a sinister twist of Rockwellesque humor. His work, though frequently featuring fashion and scenes from by-gone eras, does not concern itself with nostalgia; but rather with the pursuit of the universal, timeless theme of human nature. His paintings draw on elements all along this spectrum – suffusing them with an atmosphere at once dark and yet strangely sweet.
May 30, 2021