Pasadena Society of Artists

Danny Mattijez BIO

Biographical Information:
Danny created his first woodcarving, a small tiki, at about age seven or eight.Despite his mother’s constant worry, he was able to keep all ten fingers securely attached. He tried a handful of charcoal or pastel portraits a few years later, but aside from those few things, his life was dedicated to regular schoolwork, and after studying hard, he earned a BS degree in Physics at Cal State LA in 1974. This provided a living, but the fire was never in his daily living. Finally, at 55, he retired and spent the next year or two doing as little as possible. After getting a bit bored, he started looking for something a little more fulfilling in his life and tried his hand at painting. Those few works were fine, but none of them had the stand out qualities he wanted. Then he inherited a box of wood chisels that filled him with inspiration. With a desire to make something a little more permanent, he ordered his first piece of soapstone, which was a good starting point, but quickly moved on to harder stone. With the final step of discarding his ruined wood tools and buying some proper stone working tools, it seemed at last that he had found his place to make his mark. As it turns out, he was better in 3-D than in 2-D filling his life with richness that he wanted to share with the world.

Artist Statement:
Early in my sculpting career, I created works in stone and found clay maquettes necessary for planning and working out structural details. Later, when the stone sculptures were made, the clay was reused for other maquettes on other sculptures, but it was always difficult to destroy the maquettes, since they were works of art also. After working with the clay for several years, I focused more on the clay itself and found that I could give it a permanent finish. For this I chose a faux bronze that actually contains bronze material. The result is a figure that appears to be true bronze but without the great weight and cost associated with a cast metal sculpture, and because no mold is involved, each sculpture is an original. There will never be two exactly alike.

The focus of my work has always been the human figure. I love the way the muscles and bones work together. Subtle bulges and dips, when represented properly, bring the individual pieces to life and draw the viewer’s eyes around the sculpture. The interesting thing about figurative art is that everyone knows the shape of a human body, which means they have to look human all the way down to the delicate hands and face. For this reason, clay works best for me. If I take a little too much off, I can always put a little bit back on again. As I continue to build my body of work, I finally feel successful enough to call myself a sculptor.

Group Exhibitions:
California Sculptors Symposium 2013, 2014, 2015

Awards & Honors:
2014 Honorable Mention – California Sculptors Symposium

Affiliations:
California Sculptors Symposium
Pasadena Society of Artists