Danielle Orchard, b. 1985 in Michigan City, Indiana, raised Ft. Wayne, IN. She obtained a BFA in Painting from Indiana University in 2009 and an MFA in Painting from CUNY-Hunter College in 2013. She has studied in Florence, Italy, and Giverny, France. She was a Dedalus Foundation MFA Fellowship Recipient in 2013, and was chosen as the Alma B.C. Shapiro Artist in Residence at the Corporation of Yaddo, 2014. She joined the curatorial team at Underdonk in Brooklyn, NY, in 2014.
These paintings are about the anxiety around physical intimacy, the risks inherent to knowing another person. I paint mostly women, because that is the experience I feel best equipped to discuss. I explore these ideas by culling from Western art history, and look to Analytic Cubism, the Italian Renaissance, the Chicago Imagists, the Bay Area painters–any moment when the female figure has been used to indicate an otherwise hidden psychological position. My process is disorganized and frenetic, with an emphasis on the tactile and sculptural quality of oil paint. I pour, scrape, and build up thick fields of impasto until an image is realized. I search for sources on Instagram and in museums and books, and am most strongly drawn to points of physical pressure–two vases touching in a Morandi, Georgia O'Keefe's hand resting on a cow skull–elliptical moments that I hope to capture and merge with the cast of characters I paint, characters who are, ultimately, proxies for myself.
Q&A with Danielle Orchard
Questions by Emily Burns