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  • Writer's pictureCARAVAN Arts

Daniel Bonnell: Creativity in a Time of Crisis

© Daniel Bonnell, 2020

How has this pandemic affected you and your creative output? How are you adapting to the new realities?

The virus has led me to slow down and work more slowly, to acknowledge the moment and be mindful in it. Most of my painting discipline is sitting in silence. I find the new reality as one who is entrapped in a waking nightmare.

Please share any insights you have learned from this “lockdown/self-isolation”? Also, is there a special role you feel artists can play in response to the

© Daniel Bonnell, Adoration, 2020, mixed media on Grocery Bag Paper

It has been revealed through a lot of sleepless nights that I have a lot to learn about surrender. In essence, all artists are merely conduits. They need to continue to be so. Personally, I have now returned back to painting on grocery bag paper because of its semiotics. It is “anti-art” in this manner.

How do you think this will affect artists, the art world and how people interact with art? How do you feel this crisis might reshape our societies in general?

© Daniel Bonnell, Glimpse of an Angel, 2020, Mixed media on Grocery Bag Paper

I don't think cultures react immediately to art, post a “death disaster” - at all. Matthew Brady went bankrupt after the civil war. No one wants to be reminded of 9/11 and the Twin Towers, especially those of us who spent time in them. The only great art that rose up out of a waking nightmare were the German neo-expressionists because they were a part of generation of false guilt over the Nazi machine and Hitler. Many German youth related to that dark heritage. I find that performance art is reshaping society now due to the virus. It is happening every evening in New York City at 7:00pm and in Los Angeles at 8:00pm each evening. Cheering and clanging happens out the windows as a sign of thankfulness to the nurses, doctors, and first responders. It is a uniting performance art of love.


DANIEL BONNELL is known throughout the world as one of the most noted sacred painters of the 21st century. He received his BFA degree from the Atlanta College of Art and his MFA in painting from Savannah College of Art and Design. His post graduate studies were under the renowned photographer, Ansel Adams, celebrated artist Edward Ross, as well as the renowned designer, Milton Glaser. He was the Winner of The Brother Nathan Cochran Award in Sacred Arts in 2018. His paintings are found in over 100 countries around the world, in cathedrals, churches and private collections, and in publications of over 30 languages. He is also author of the book, Shadow Lessons, a book about teaching art in the inner city to at-risk high school students, and he is a contributing writer to ArtPulse Magazine, a magazine on contemporary art. He follows a Franciscan position of ethos that espouses a kenosis position on life.


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