DANIEL HEYMAN “challenges the postmodern theory that the author is dead and art made by hand is obsolete,” writes the poet and critic John Yau in the catalog, “Daniel Heyman: Attention” for an exhibition in 2013 at Dartmouth College. “By preserving the voice and dignity of the other – of those victimized,” continues Yau, “–Heyman recognizes that his images must be equally authoritative. It is a challenge his work more than lives up to.” Heyman often uses his art to introduce the personal narratives he has collected that reflect on important societal issues. Over the past 10 years he has listened to and made portraits of scores of men and women, from Iraqi torture victims to US veterans, from African American men who spent a good part of their early adulthood in prison to recent immigrants from Africa and Asia, often incorporating each sitter’s first person narrative directly into the paintings, prints and drawings. Often traveling around the world on a mission to collect oral histories, and with paper on his lap and a box of gouache paints at his side, he seeks inspiration in the faces of strangers from around the globe. In the studio he focuses more on material exploration and drawing. In recent years he has been experimenting with plaster and plywood, and how these materials can be used for printmaking, if at all.
Heyman has been an Artist-in-Residence at Dartmouth College, the Nagasawa Art Park in Japan, and MacDowell and Yaddo and most recently at Shenkar College of Engineering, Design, Art in Tel Aviv. His work is widely collected by museums and university collections, including: Baltimore Museum of Art; Brown University; Davidson Art Center, Wesleyan University; Davis Art Museum, Wellesley College; Firestone Library, Graphics Collection, Princeton University; Free Library of Philadelphia; Hood Museum of Art; Getty Research Center; Library of Congress; Gonzaga University; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Meade Art Museum; Minneapolis Institute of Arts; Newberry Library in Chicago; New York Public Library; North Dakota Museum of Art; Philadelphia Museum of Art; Princeton University Art Museum; St. Lawrence University; St. Louis Museum of Art; Smith College Art Museum; Special Collections Library at American University; Spencer Museum of Art; University of Iowa Museum of Art; University of Virginia Special Collections Library; Vassar College Art Museum and the Yale University Art Gallery.
Daniel Heyman received his MFA from the University of Pennsylvania (1991) and his AB from Dartmouth College (1985). He received a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship in Fine Arts (2010), a Pew Fellowship in the Arts (2009) as well as many smaller awards including several research grants from Princeton University and RISD. Daniel Heyman’s work has been on view in recent one-person exhibitions at the Hopkins Center for the Arts, Jaffe Friede Gallery, Dartmouth College, NH; David Winton Bell Gallery at Brown University, RI; University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA; St. Lawrence University, Canton, New York; Linfield College Art Gallery, OR; Loyola Marymount College, Los Angeles, CA; Zilkah Gallery, Wesleyan University, Middletown, CT among others.
His work has been written about and reviewed in publications from coast to coast, from the Los Angeles Times to the Chicago Tribune and the Philadelphia Inquirer and Art in America. His work was featured in the Winter 2008 edition of the Virginia Quarterly Review, and “Male Desire: Homosexual Desire in American Art,” (Harry Abrams, ’05) by Jonathan Weinberg. Heyman has taught for many years at RISD and Princeton. He grew up on Long Island.