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Biography of Daniel Arsham

Updated on December 26, 2017

Daniel Arsham is a contemporary, New-York based artist who creates peculiar artworks which are two, three and four dimensions. Many of his works harbor an architectural element attached to them. Arsham is well known for distorting and manipulating architecture. Arsham takes common, though outdated objects such as cassette players, walkmans among others which he then casts in volcanic ash to produce various decaying artifacts. The artist’s work can be found in many collections and museums. Among these include, the Miami Museum of Contemporary Art, PSI in New York, the Athens Biennale located in Athens, and the New Museum, located in New York, Mill’s College Museum of Art found in Oakland and the Carre Art Museum in Nimes among others. From sections that appear to have been wind-blown to walls draping over figures, most of the Ashrams’ work creates a rippling effect, making his artwork to be unique among others. Arsham presents a good example of an artist who has effectively merged the ancient and modern techniques to create unique elements.


Daniel Arsham was born in 1980 in Ohio but raised in Florida. Arsham is a graduate of Cooper Union College in New York. He is thought to have been influenced into art by incidences of violent weather during his childhood. As he explains in his website, Arsham experienced a firsthand experience of his childhood home being wrecked by the hurricane and when he saw the inside of the walls, he got a picture of what architecture looked like. Arsham’s first productions with his co-artist Merce Cunningham at the age of 25 effectively thrust him into the limelight of design and architecture[1]. In the current perspective, Arsham is based in New York City where he dwells and conducts his works from.

Most of Arsham’s architectural practice has been guided by curiosity for structured space and architecture, drawn from experiences of the debris of Hurricane Andrew that occurred in his Miami hometown. Some of his best-known work includes a sequence of installations which destabilized the solidity of gallery walls in the sense that they appear folding, dripping, absorbing, and oozing furniture. The artist is also one of the partners for the Snarkitecture architecture and art alongside other artists such as Alex Mustonen. 'Snarkitecture is a partnership practice that entails an integration of architecture and art. The practice also entails the collaboration of various designers and artists with a focus on investigating program and material, structure and how the features can be manipulated to serve imaginative and novel objectives. Due to the uniqueness of his work, Arsham was awarded a Gelman Trust Fellowship in 2003. Currently, Daniel Arsham is working on a project of high magnitude at Miami Museum for a novel baseball stadium.


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