Danni Pantel was born in Erlangen, Germany in 1989, and now lives and works in Berlin. Since a young age, Danni has been fascinated by art, especially being surrounded by the pictures of her great-grandfather who was a painter. She was impressed by different techniques, the application of color, and how the choice of color can trigger certain moods and emotions in the viewer. As a child, she mentions being inspired by a form of painting that is more spontaneous, intuitive and personal. She is self-thought as an artist and just had a show at Duve Gallery in Berlin which ended Nov 17th. Meet Danni. Photo credit of the title picture: Martin Peterdamm.
If you could have dinner with anyone in the world, dead or alive, who would you choose and why?
There are a lot of artists I would love to have met, such as Helen Frankenthaler, Michael West or Frida Kahlo. Yet, if I had to pick a person, I would love to have dinner with my late grandmother. She passed away when I was one year old but having been told many stories about her, I know that she was a very complex, fascinating and strong woman, who mastered many ups and downs throughout her lifetime.
Are there certain artists, styles or movements you’ve drawn inspiration from in your artworks? Please elaborate.
I’m mostly inspired by the abstract expressionist movement. When I paint, it is always a very physical process full of fast moves and gestures – more often than not, it is a spontaneous, intuitive process. One artist, who has certainly influenced me and whom I admire is K.O. Götz.
Can you talk about technique?
I love experimenting with different materials and techniques. Apart from acrylic paint and sometimes oil, I’ve been working with filler, mortar, sand, ropes, and wire a lot. In my last series (‘Serendipitous Intention’ at Duve Berlin) however, I wanted to almost literally free myself from any ballast so I only used acrylic paint, lacquer, and aerosol paint.
What are three attributes to describe yourself, and three that describes your body of works?
My friends describe me as curious, caring and slightly impulsive. When it comes to my work, I think these attributes are reflected as well. I would probably use the words: spontaneous, intuitive and sometimes a little chaotic.
What do you want your viewers to take away from your work?
When I paint, I usually don’t think about the viewer, otherwise, I think I would be quite confused. But I enjoy when people drop by in my studio to look at some stuff afterward. Often, I then get to know people on a much deeper personal level by talking about my work, art in general or also not talking at all. What’s important to me is that my work evokes a condition or state for the viewer, for him or her to freely associate. For example, when I paint, I often care about NOT thinking too much rather than forcing a specific content into or onto my work. If I then realize that this state of being free conceptually and mentally is something that the viewer pick up on, I am happy.
Advice to your 15 year old self?
I know it’s cheesy but don’t spend too much time worrying about what other people might think of you and believe in yourself!
Can you tell us about a difficult moment that you overcame?
I come from a family, in which no one was overly interested in art. My parents have always encouraged me to go after what I want and love in life but to be honest, I didn’t really believe them and went straight to business school. That time wasn’t the easiest for me because I always felt like I was on the wrong track. Nonetheless, I am incredibly grateful for this little detour as I painted a lot during that time and this helped me realize that I not only wanted to do art but somehow also had to.
Do you have quotes which are important to you, and particularly helped you? Or a few words of wisdom that you hold onto or remember?
‘No Man Is an Island‘ (John Donne)
How would you describe the word ” ART “? What does it mean to you?
What’s great about this question is that there’s probably an infinite number of responses. Until now there’s only one rule in regard to my personal concept of art and that is: art must be free.