Engineer by training, artist from the heart.
This is how Daniel Hibbert views his very intricate life. The Minnesota native, Brooklyn-based artist held his first solo exhibition in New York this month called “Timeless,” a series of pieces that define the style, colors, and music of the past six decades through cubism.
Held at Ludlow Studios on July 10, the gallery was filled with art titled with the songs he drew inspiration from. Admirers got to experience the artwork through Hibbert’s point of view with the use of technology. Each piece featured a QR Code, which visitors could scan on their phones and watch Hibbert’s process as the accompanying song played. Sam Cooke’s “Venus” (1950s) took new form in a pop-art portrait with pearl paints, Beyonce’s “Blue” (2010s) is laid out with an image of a mother and child as one, and The Police’s “Roxanne” (1970s) features neon paints and the aura of a woman claiming the night.
NewsOne visited the exhibit to chat with Daniel about his inspirations and definitive style.
Since he was a child, Hibbert says art always spoke to him. Throughout his life, he’s kept a corner in his heart for it, preferably cubism. Currently, Hibbert is working in the finance world as an engineer. In a corporate world that spins on structure, Hibbert enjoys the outlet art brings him.
“Cubism is a release for me,” he said. “It means that if I painted these in a cubic style, no one should have to tell me if it’s right or if it’s wrong. It’s exactly what I saw in my head. It’s what I felt when I listened to that song. It’s what I gravitated for because I work in a very structured environment. There’s no process for cubism. It’s a very unconventional use for space.”
Hibbert’s love for cubism and music travels far. When he’s creating pieces, he often jams to the sounds of J. Cole, Michael Jackson, Queen, and others. With music speaking a universal language, it’s clear to see aspects of love, insight, pain, and freedom speak through his work.
Graffiti, expressionism, surrealism aren’t far from Hibbert’s cross-cultural style. In the painting “Prototype,” love found and lost reflects with hints of white graffiti. Inspired by Outkast’s track of the same name, deep shadows allow his perspective towards a former flame to peek through.
“Art is my way of releasing and stepping into another environment,” he said. “Being able to express myself and put frames together.”
One of his more daring pieces is showcased through his nostalgic view of the ’90s. The pieces for the decade aren’t colorful, but are bold in a special way.
Titled “Me” and “You,” the large pieces stood away from rest. A black canvas with “You” in white letters was placed next to the “Me” piece in black letters with a gold frame.
“Every decade has a song except for the ’90s,” he explained. “As an artist, I’m really about music that likes to connect people and the ’90s was all about division. It was non-industrial, pop,’I’m R&B and you’re neo-soul, I’m a rapper, but I’m East Coast and you’re West Coast.’ It’s really about individualism. So I was going to do a white canvas with a statement about the ’90s but literally 4 a.m. the day of the opening, I had the idea to do the black and white canvas that are opposites that are back to back.”
Gallery-goers were fans of the last-minute pieces and their powerful meanings.
Hibbert says he will continue to work in the corporate realm, but his future in artistry is far from over. To see more of Daniel’s art and process, click here.