Inspired by body building porn star Denise Masino and cartoon legend Dennis the Menace, Daniel David Freeman is the fervent felt-tipping creator of warped superhero illustration series ‘Azealea’s Amazon’.
“There’s a demon woman with a massive sword in this show. I suppose I’m quite proud of that. I like how juvenile it is. I think it’s quite an honest piece of work.” Etching perplexing, detailed and explicit works, coming straight out of his own twisted imagination, DDD gets off on brash, graphic images. Grafting with a signature heavy outlined aesthetic, Dan’s handy work has previously been picked up by Adidas, Nike, Vice, i-D, Protein, Blink, Mixpak, Jaguar Shoes and Boiler Room. Founding his own T-Shirt label, Ranks, after graduating from Camberwell College just over three years ago, this local, cycling skinhead references the salacious artwork of Boris Vallejo and Brian Bolland as major influences.
Harbouring ambitions of maybe one day becoming the third Chapman brother and earning as much money as Scrooge McDuck, Dan cites The Bodyguard as his fav. film of all time and remembers his last text message as being “D.T.F”. Any takers? Get down to Beach Gallery for the opening night of his exhibition ‘Azealea’s Amazon’, if you’re up for it.
What is your earliest memory of sitting down drawing? Can’t remember exactly what age. I’d draw Dennis the Menace everywhere. So much so I still get Dennis the Menace themed Christmas gifts.
What are your working processes when dreaming up new concepts? Generally I like to brew ideas over time before I do anything with them. I have a back log of mental notes of things that have inspired me which means I rarely have to actively seek inspiration. Often when a new project comes up, I’m able to use an idea I’ve already been thinking about for a long time.
How do you most commonly find yourself inspired? I get inspired by things like shop signage, fruit boxes and bizarre restaurant decors everyday. I am really affected by really simple iconography. I love things like the bold white palm tree stickers in the Jamaican restaurant down the road. But then again I get equally excited by things like epic Renaissance paintings and big budget three hour long Hollywood movies. I suppose it depends on what I’m working on at the time.
How would you describe your signature aesthetic? I’d say it’s reassuringly unoriginal.
What materials do you regularly work with and where do you source them? At present kid’s cheapo felt pens or just purely on Photoshop. I source said pens from Tesco!
Who is Rick Azealea? He is our generation’s Henry Darger.
What impact do you hope this exhibition will have upon your audiences? I want it to be like when John Malkovich goes inside John Malkovich in Being John Malkovich.
When did you first begin to curate the exhibition? About 18 months ago. It started as a book, then became an exhibition, then became a group exhibition and then back to a solo one. In the group stage we went out on jolly day trips trying to meet body builders including the British power-lifting championships. Interestingly that took place in a sports centre where I used to play football very badly as a kid.
Who is your hero? Scrooge McDuck