Danny is a British artist, and dancer of tango, based in East London, UK. He studied at Cardiff College of Art, now the University of Wales, and at Reading University and has paintings in numerous private and public collections including those of the Victoria and Albert Museum and Elton John.
He is the godson of the architectural historian Nicholas Pevsner, and the grandson of the feminist writer Mary Butts, herself a friend of Peggy Guggenheim, Paul Robson, Jean Cocteau and Aleister Crowley among many others. He is the grandson of the writer, publisher and Whitechapel Boy John Rodker, noted for his publications and/or translations of Freud, Joyce, Pushkin, Kafka, Dostoyevsky, Tolstoy, Gaudier-Brezska, Pound, Eliot and Andre Breton, for which, in the latter case, he was awarded the Legion d'Honneur.
He is a descendant of Menasseh ben Israel, the Sephardic Jew who negotiated with Oliver Cromwell the return of Jews to England (1656), after the York pogroms (1190), and also of the civil servant Thomas Butts, who, as patron to William Blake, collected and preserved the artist's illuminated manuscripts (now resident at Tate Britain). Mary Butts' father - known as 'The Colonel', and a veteran of the Charge of the Light Brigade in the Crimean War of 1854 - built a gallery extension for them in his house and Mary is said to have adopted in her writing the same luminous view of the Dorsetshire landscape as that conveyed in those Blake manuscripts under whose gaze she grew up as a child.
Of his own painting he says:
‘...I try to get a little electricity, a little alchemy, a little mystery and a little poetry into my surfaces. I want to detain the eye and invoke the imagination with surfaces that serve as visually dynamic sources of reference, contemplation, reflection and, perhaps, divination, as to who we are and how we got here. More recently I have begun constructing surfaces out of worn bottle glass, discarded brass shell cases, seashells, sand, gravel, glitter, repurposed scaffold boards and vintage optical lenses, all largely recovered from rifle ranges, roadsides and builders' yards, or found online. Otherwise, I don't really know where my images come from, much as I would like to, but I hope they speak for themselves. All I can truthfully say is that I was there at the time, and took the opportunity to transform some of the detritus of modern life as I found it around me, in a manner which I hope is more than the sum of its parts...'
Danny also writes on the abjadic sources of alphabetic text and concludes that European languages are largely dialects of ancient Hebrew, which he thinks largely arrived in Europe with the abduction of the Hebrew slaves at the destruction of the second state of Israel by the Romans in AD 70. He also has an abiding interest in tango, which he has taught and performed worldwide, including in Beijing at the 2008 Olympics, and since then in Europe, the US, Mexico and Argentina. Prints and paintings are available to view by appointment at Mile End, London, UK, and at periodic exhibitions, and at regular studio open days and studio visits by appointment. Contact the studio for details.