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Looking Beneath the Surface: Collage Artist Daniel Mazzone at 1 Hotel for Art Basel

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@danielmazzoneart

Few people could ever dream of being dubbed “the next Warhol,” but Daniel Mazzone, a young Canadian artist, received that honor.  But Mazzone is no imitation; he’s an original and feels humbled by the title. “Andy Warhol is someone I look up to. What he did was out of the box for his time. It pushes me to try to be better,” he said.  His much anticipated Art Basel show will debut at the eco-friendly 1 Hotel South Beach on Wednesday, December 5, 2018, from 7:30 PM to 11:30 PM.

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   Unlike Warhol and many other notable artists, Mazzone isn’t a typical painter. He uses newspaper clippings, comic books, and other paper materials to create a collage mosaic that tells a story about the person in his artwork, sort of like how tattoos can tell a story on a person’s skin.  His desire to express the pieces of someone’s history on his or her face comes from his personal experience. As a teenager, he spent five years homeless, sleeping on friends’ couches or on the street. He learned that everyone has a story. “People can look at someone, especially a homeless person on the street and easily judge them. They don’t have any idea about their life story,” he expressed.  Through his art, Mazzone asks us to take a moment and look beneath the surface of what we perceive, whether it be of a person, a place, or a theme.

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    Like Warhol, many of his pieces are of iconic people like Audrey Hepburn, John Lennon,  Marylin Monroe or JFK. For the untitled Art Basel show, he is going to exhibit sixteen artworks, Though it’s his sixth time coming to Miami, this is the first time he will showcase sculptures.  He created eight figures of children wearing bunny suits. He said, “they represent just doing whatever you feel like doing without worrying about what others think.”. On the bunny’s faces are his collage mosaics.

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    Besides Warhol, some of his influences include great masters like Dali and Picasso, but he was also influenced by his mom, a stained-glass artist, and contemporaries like Domingo Zapata, who was also a mentor. From working with his mother as a child, he picked up a love of art and a style that still resonates in his pieces. In some works, he uses stained-glass epoxy resin and creates thick black lines that mimic the art form. From his friend and mentor Domingo, he gained very valuable advice at the beginning of his career: “Stop doing what people like and do what you love.”      

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   Doing what he loves didn’t always come easy. Daniel stopped creating art for years. In fact, he studied finance at college and worked on a trading floor.  He was unhappy in the field and was feeling down. “I was looking forward to Friday and dreading Monday,” he expressed, a sentiment many can relate to in today’s society.. He mentioned to a friend that he liked to create art as a kid and his friend suggested he delve into it again to lift his spirits. After watching the documentary, Exit Through the Gift Shop, he felt inspired to take up his passion again and bought a canvas.  One of his friends, who owned a restaurant, suggested that he hang one of the paintings in his eatery.  One day, Daniel got a call from his friend that the painting had sold for about 13,000 dollars, and this prompted him to quit his job and dedicate himself full-time to art.  

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    Since embarking on his creative journey, Mazzone has had great success, with celebrities, professional athletes and art collectors purchasing his pieces, and he believes in giving back. So he has partnered with various charities including organizations that help homeless kids and animals. He recently created a painting for PETA, which was auctioned off to raise funds for animal welfare. Mazzone is one inspiring artist for many reasons and his show definitely stands out as one worth checking out.

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