GALO: I’ve noticed that your contemporary drawings and paintings are mostly of people. What captivates you about this subject?

DS: I find drawings and paintings of people as the subject matter that I can relate to best. It’s also the subject matter that can best express what I want to say.

GALO: You tend to use a lot of red, black, and blue hues in your art. Is there a particular reason for this?

DS: In my work, I often time deal with the theme of pain and brokenness. The combination of black and red works well to convey these themes. The blue and cyan hues are effective to convey loneliness and isolation.

GALO: Describe your art in three words.

DS: Experience being human

GALO: Besides being immersed in you art, you also teach a Fashion Illustration class at the Academy of Art University. What message do you hope to get across to your students and what do you strive to teach them about art?

DS: I’ve stopped teaching this class in 2009 to devote more time to create. However, I hope to get back into teaching eventually, which is why I offer workshops. The message that I want my students to get is that creativity means taking chances, which always involves mistakes and failures, but all those are essential for their growth.

GALO: I saw that you are presently collaborating with concert pianist Tania Stavreva and live electronics programmer Tim Daoust as part of a show entitled Rhythmic Movement. Could you tell us more about this?

DS: I’ve always been interested in exploring ideas to combine multiple media to make the art piece more engaging and effective. That piano concert gives me the opportunity to experiment with ways to combine body painting with video and live music performance.

GALO: Is there anything else that you are currently involved with?

DS: The main project that I’m working on is an art installation, [which] consists of live body painting and video installation.

Another project that I’m working on is a series called “art history.” This series consists of reproduction of well-known paintings as body paintings. I intend to create a photo book for this series. For my personal development as an artist, this is a way for me to learn from my predecessors. The other purpose of this project is to change the perception of body painting from something that’s associated with eroticism to a legitimate art form.

GALO: What are your plans for the near future?

DS:  In the near future, I plan to continue pushing the 2 projects above, mainly to achieve the goal of getting body painting accepted as an art form. Additionally, I’ll continue to explore the possibility of making body painting more accessible, and available, to the general public.

For more information on Danny Setiawan’s work and his upcoming exhibitions, you can visit his Web site at:

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