Meet Danny Cole, the 19-Year-Old Artist Causing Waves
Cole has collaborated with major music artists such as Portugal. The Man and Cherry Glazer, all before he is ever legally able to drink.
ELISABETH: Danny tell us a little about your exhibition and performance at Studio 525
DANNY: My first show at 525 was the most stressful, demanding show I have completed to date. “A Battle For Harmony - A Seven Course Journey Edible Journey” I am constantly seeking out new ways to bridge the gap between consumption and immersion within the experience of consuming my creations. A few months before this show came to be, I received a message from Chef Jake Hetnarski inquiring about buying a painting from me. He came by my studio and started telling me about his relationship with food as a chef. To me, food has always been about functionality rather than personality or a transfer of information. To Jake, food was a silent voice.
The most amazing quality of food as a medium is that the consumer by nature will always absorb the full extent of the creation. With a painting, one has to consciously delve into the imagery in front of them. With food, the consumer simply experiences it. So, we teamed up and designed a seven course meal to correspond with a story of the creature venturing into unfamiliar territory. Each new experience of the creature was paired with a dish designed to evoke a physical reaction consistent with the story’s plot.
To see such a large community gather at 525 to spend this shared time together and trusting me to do right with their time and energy was one of the most touching moments I have experienced in my life. It’s a big ask to request large audiences sit still and listen to you tell a story, but they did it. I feel whole reflecting on the experience.
E: How has your journey been in the art world so far?
D: The art world doesn’t exist as far as I’m concerned! I’m sharing art independently and constantly inspired by the revolutionary world of independent music, which has paved that direction in the creative world.
When creatives speak, New York listens. If you don’t think it’s that easy, I highly encourage you to try sharing yourself.
E: How do you work with space in your performances and what is important to you when searching for locations?
D: I am aware that the idea of searching for a “blank canvas” is less than possible, so my focus lies in finding a space that is compatible with the ideas I seek to elevate. A space that inherently leans in the direction I am working toward. I love 525 because of the sectioned area at the end of the main space. It reminds me of a little window into another world, which is exactly how I have used it at both of my shows there. Something feels incredibly nostalgic about it- as if you are looking into an old color TV.
What is the biggest challenge you are having to overcome as a young artist in nyc? The folks at 525 could definitely tell stories about me texting them past midnight and obsessing over poster design, putting myself in tight time crunches because I want to bring a last minute vision to life…
I moved to New York only a few weeks after graduating high school, with no experience being an independent adult. My mom always said her job was to veer me when I strayed away from a safe path, but once her veering was done, she knew I would be fine. I learned that the responsibility of redirecting simply transferred over to me when I touched down in New York.
Learning to take full responsibility for yourself doesn’t happen overnight, but I put myself in a unique situation where I had to make that happen. I feel very lucky to have such supportive and experienced folks around me who chime in to bring forward their unique knowledge and give me so much to learn from every day.