When your eyes rest on the brush strokes and patterns attached to the canvas window into the mind of artist Daniel Ferlan, you might find yourself through the looking glass in a hurry. Two feet firmly planted in a world surrounded by colorful multi-faced creatures that could easily be the result of falling asleep on the couch while watching “James and the Giant Peach,” his art has a unique twisted fairy tale feeling. There’s a story to every piece, but Ferlan hopes that you see what you want to see, even though they are as much of a timeline of his life as rings on a tree.
“There is definitely a story to each of my paintings,” says Ferlan. “I can look at them and see a tough breakup, or when my niece and nephew came into my life. Sometimes people guess right on what it is, but I like it when they kind of attach their own meaning to it, too.”
The last of the many gallery shows that Ferlan has had in Columbus since 1998 was darker than any he even remembered, but his show “Through to Our Bones” opening soon at the Sharon Weiss Gallery promises to be a more uplifting tale of rebuilding and looking for love – an idea that anyone can relate to on some level in their life.
“I think that when I was younger I just tried to push myself to paint something that wasn’t really coming out organically; it didn’t feel right,” says Ferlan. “I guess its just part of maturity to let it come naturally.”
At a young age, art came to Ferlan as naturally as painting happy little trees came to Bob Ross. He sketched pages and pages of old cartoon characters and faces, because for any kid, it’s hard to draw a torso, and he liked the expressions you could focus on in the face.
After going to school at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh, Ferlan came to Columbus to visit a friend who had gone to CCAD. When presented with a city that had galleries and support for the arts, he decided to make it a permanent home instead and left Pittsburgh for different pastures. For more information on Daniel Ferlan and his work, go to www.danielferlan.com