“Love for me is the powerful, relentless, terrifying letting go of fear” – painter Daniel Marin Medina doesn’t seek perfection, but enlightenment and happiness through his art. In conversation with Container Love, the colombian artist told us about his enthusiasm for the human body and how he keeps mapping sexuality through his work.
How are you? What was the last thing you did before you sat down to answer these questions?
I am thankful and grateful to report that I am doing really well! Despite the greater circumstances, I’ve gotten into a good flow recently. Before I sat down to answer these questions I ate a very delicious pizza and chugged a glass of vegan chocolate milk.
Before we talk about your work, let’s have a quick look at you. When and how did you discover you love for painting? Or differently, when did you start to find and create your own style? Do you remember your first paintings?
I’ve been drawing for about as long as I can remember. When I was four, I attended a little art academy in Colombia and art, drawing, painting have been a part of my life ever since. I fell less into a style and more a fascination with bodies and sexuality while at college. Since my years at Parsons School of Design, the focus of almost everything I do is about bodies and mapping sexuality on those bodies. I do remember my first drawings, yes! I think the earliest I have is of a yellow chicken from when I was four or five.
How is the current situation affecting you? What has changed? And how does it change or influence your work? How and where do you work at the moment?
This current situation has changed a lot for me, as I’m sure it has for a lot of folx. The last months of last year got pretty heavy emotionally, I fell into quite a deep depression that took me out of a lot of things, but all the while I was able to make some good work, write some good bits, and I think that helped me be able to push through to this end of the spectrum. I’ve also transitioned from primarily drawing to a lot of painting and that’s been heaps of fun. My stuff feels more personal to me and embracing that has been really nice.
We all love inspiration. And we all could use a little splash of it right now. Where do you get your ideas? And in what ways does your creative process have an effect on your daily life?
I find inspiration from really good, old movies and really good, old music. Nina Simone is the artist of my life and pounding through her songs has been a forever source of inspiration. Her 1966 album “Wild is the Wind” has some wonderful jams, though jams may not be the right word – it is very sad music about lost loves and being hurt, but I love that. My daily life is the creative process. Everything is one part of the larger process and sitting down to paint is just the tailend of a whole bunch of other steps, but even going to get groceries adds to the creative process. I subscribe to the mentality of having life be the art and the things we create just little souvenirs and entry points into that life.
What is the perfect picture for you? And what ingredients does it need?
Perfection isn’t something I really strive for, I’m not sure it exists, but the goal for me is to make things that make me feel good. A good piece of work for me plays with composition, perspective, color, and subverts something, makes you feel something. I work mostly with male nudes and finding new, interesting ways to paint and draw what’s been painted and drawn a million times is a nice challenge. As a queer person, I don’t wait to aid in the work that simplifies sexuality or only celebrates certain aspects of it so I work to move against that and find less obvious ways of doing it.
Container Love’s mission is to highlight the beauty in diversity, to change views on love and to encourage and inspire more body positivity. Do your pictures have a message that fits into the Container Love universe?
I like to think my work fits with the Container Love mission, yes. Now more than ever, creators have to be really conscious of what it is they are putting into the world. Bad art is better than no art, yes, but art that does good sits at the top of that list. It’s important to be self aware, to look at what one does and what one puts out and really be critical of what it says, who it makes space for, and what it aplifies. It is 2021, we can’t be out here making harmful trash.
For us love is diversity — of sexualities, colors, genders, something that smashes the container. So what is love for you?
Love for me is the powerful, relentless, terrifying letting go of fear, letting go of doubts, of losing yourself entirely into someone else or multiple someone elses. Love is the universe letting you see yourself, your experiences, your pains in another person. Love is fucking beautiful.
Ok, we have a very personal question for you. Tell us your first love story. In 10 words.
I felt things then I have not felt ever again.
What would you really like to do? Right now? Instead of answering these little questions…
Apart from answering these questions, I really love to dance until I get sweaty, I love to make a nice lunch and sit in the sun, I love to read great books and underline the best sentences, I love to go for very long runs, I love to listen to jazz in my bed with a joint and some tea, and I love to make work that makes me feel good.
Famous last words?
Thank you for the space to share my work and a bit of my story.