Are You Lookin’ At Me?

“I love all my babies,” explains Berlin resident and British artist Danny Croucher, whose sense of possession and pride in his works are particularly strong. Dressed only in different shades of black and sporting some pretty heavy duty combat boots, Danny’s brooding persona and intellect, combined with his dark English humor, makes it quite clear that these rather troubled babies do indeed belong to him.

Did Halloween Come Early This Year?

In contradiction, the sun shines in Berlin as he tells me about his latest projects. “Summers are very slow for me; just trying to build new bodies of work and making some connections. I've basically taken a sabbatical from the 'art' scene. I'm sick of its superficiality and bullshit. Just concentrating on making art not selling art. Also opened a photo studio for hire; there's a drought of quality, affordable photographic studios for hire in Berlin. I thought I'd open up my personal studio for others to use.”

A femme fatale by Danny Croucher. Photo courtesy of the artist.

As a sometimes too-overly-optimistic American, I find myself rather captivated by Danny’s characteristically British dark and ironic humor – which goes beyond any notion of culture clash and instead keeps me sufficiently on the edge. His provocative and evocative artwork does the same. The spooky figures, or faces, all have piercing bright eyes which tease your psyche with a feeling of otherworldliness. The beautiful women depicted, some with smiles and others with threatening looks or taut lips, are enchanting – in a purely mystical and seductive sense.

Haunting photos are nothing new for Danny, as he explains: “I think the first picture I took, aside from the obligatory ones of my own fingers, were landscapes of the Lake District. I remember that the film I had used was corrupted in some way and the prints were blotchy and color spotted. I thought they were perfect, as they added an ethereal quality to those already haunted mountains and lakes.” But in this case, the spooky and unsettling element converges in the eyes, shedding light on some sort of abysmal and enigmatic interiority that would otherwise be difficult to capture with a photograph.

Portrait by Danny Croucher. Photo courtesy of the artist.

Danny has already seen success around the globe from the UK to Russia. So why Berlin? What is enticing or seductive about this city teeming with international hybrid hipster-artists? In a very honest and straight-forward way (what else?) he responds, “Berlin has real qualities. It's cheap, which is always an important consideration for artists, especially in this day and age. I'm not as enamored with Berlin as some – I think it lacks drive, ambition, and the zest of other cities. It's got a very laid back feel, which is great, but it tends to breed an apathy for the pure enjoyment of fighting for and producing your art. Being an artist is tough and so it should be." 

Article by Julie Anne Miranda-Brobeck