Bewildering Stories biography
Daniel Ayles grew up in Vermont, studied literature and art at the University of California, Berkeley, and currently lives in Portland, Oregon. He believes that all genres of art are but a thread of a larger conversation, an outpouring of questions and answers transcending time and distance, in which artists speak to other artists and members of the attentive public.
As his local charter school’s artist in residence, Mr. Ayles strives to add new voices to this conversation by engaging the students in a dialog about the visual nature of self-expression.
In his personal work, Mr. Ayles weaves together disparate threads of the conversation into a visually satisfying inquiry into the nature of perception. He iterates, through an exploration of fractal geometry and division of the plane, visual complexities that lure the viewer’s patterning mind into his abstract portraiture.
Mr. Ayles confronts the Nietzchean caveat “Battle not with monsters, lest ye become a monster, and if you gaze into the abyss, the abyss gazes also into you” as both a warning and a challenge which he, in turn, passes along to his audience.
Struggling against the popularity of décor-focused colors and imagery in contemporary art, Mr. Ayles’ body of work often depicts the darker nature of self-expression. As such, his images appear in such varied remotes of popular culture as horror zines and science fiction shows.
His most recent work is neither solely traditional nor wholly digital, but rather a hybridization of the two. Mr. Ayles has begun photographing work that he has created with traditional media and then digitally altered.
While taking the photograph, he uses a slide of previously made traditional art to act as a filter between the lens and his subject. This process creates a new image which he then finishes in a photo editing program.
Whether his art is drawn, painted, digitally manipulated, or torn up only to be reassembled in a completely new fashion, Mr. Ayles creates images that push the boundaries of what is recognizable as portraiture and recall the words of Pablo Picasso when he said, “You’ve got to create images they won’t accept. Force them to understand that they’re living in a pretty queer world. A world that’s not reassuring. A world that’s not what they think it is”.
Should we expect anything less from an artist who was raised in Stephen King’s New England, educated in Philip K. Dick’s Bay Area, and resides in Chuck Pahlaniuk’s Pacific Northwest? Daniel Ayles is a teacher and practitioner of the visual arts.
Copyright © 2015 by Daniel Ayles