With his start as a graffiti artist, Daniel Rona’s works tell stories about concepts of love, hate, life and death with a focus on growth. The composition of symbols that beganwith the rapid expression of graffiti now live in pieces that reflect both personal and universal truths about the human experience.
Q&A with the artist:
Tell me about how you got your start as an artist.
Good people. My dad comes from Hungary and has been passionate about drawing and art starting with his grandfather. My father passed on his love of drawing to me at a young age by sitting and drawing anything from cars to army scenes and soldiers. He was the first to show me that rare, free-flowing creative ability to draw anything.
Talk a little about the graffiti roots of your work - why graffiti and how does it live in the pieces in this show?
I was interested in the grittiness of going out and owning a spot late at night — being in a crew with one other friend and my older brother. SOLE was the word I chose as my alias. Needless to say, I quickly came to understood the consequences and risks of graffiti and began practicing the key elements to graffiti — spray can control, letter structure, line work, and uniqueness. These graffiti elements live in my work through bold symbols instead of lettering, creating a piece personal to me, with recognizable and unique style.
Tell me about those red stripes in your paintings.
This might sound underwhelming, but after doing a study on art history and famous artists, I found it a common theme for artists posing in striped shirts for photographs. Since then, the stripes became the way I convey a “creative” person in my pieces, and it’s how I keep myself in the story.