Daniele Valeriani: Dark Surreal Art

This artist showcase features the work of Daniele Valeriani, whose works have always been focused on the wonders of nature and science fiction. Describing his work as ‘Dark Surreal Art’, he has created work for some well known bands, including Dark Funeral and Dissection.


The Lake

The Lake

When did your interest in art/creating begin?

In my childhood. My father was a Surrealist painter and I loved so much watching him while he painted. I could say I followed in his footsteps from an early age. My games were pens, pencils and paper – til now! It’s therapeutic for me to scribble on paper although with time I’ve moved entirely onto digital art. I feel more comfortable with it because it’s more immediate – not that it’s more easy, but I can understand sooner rather than later if an illustration has a certain potential or not. I remember when I was a just a child that I literally ate a couple of my father’s books about Bosch and Salvador Dalì. I still keep those books full of doodles here and there. Not only the Flemish painters and Surrealists have inspired me; I’ve lost myself in books about nature (minerals, insects, shells, plants) as well. The contemplation of nature was my main thrust and then then it was music. I can confidently say that art chose me when I was born and the same influences of the past are still present today.

Vanitas 1

Vanitas 1

What is your starting point for each piece?

Usually I start from some very coarse sketches on paper or maybe even a raw digital work, just playing with splashes of colour until the work emerges. Even for my 3D works I don’t use an orthodox approach, leaving everything dictated in the first instance until a more rational part of me emerges to dictate a certain order.

Vanitas 3

Vanitas 3

Who/what influences your work?

As I mentioned before my father’s influence was crucial due to the many inherited interests but if I had to mention some artists in particular of course HR Giger, as well as Bosch, Dalì, Beksinski and the great Master Agostino Arrivabene with whom I have had the luck and honour to work in more than occasion.

Landscape 1

Landscape 1

What do you hope the viewer gets from your work?

In general, not indifference. I do what I do because it is vital for myself. My mind is too crowded to be the home of so many different fantasies and realities that I would end up exploding. It’s a way to exorcise and exercise my fantasies, my dream journeys. Sometimes I have different reactions once the work is done so it’s hard to answer properly. I wish my works inspire other artists too. Appreciation from other masters and cultural exchange with them is what satisfies me more. The more you grow the more you learn each time, this is my main goal.

The Portal

The Portal

What do you think about the term Outsider Art? Is there a term that you think works better?

I could consider myself an outsider for sure due to the fact that I do not care about fashions or easy solutions. In fact what I create is not conditioned or calculated but simply what I like the most. I don’t care about judgments except from other artists I admire, and only then so that I can learn or increase my technique or cultural view. In my case Dark Surreal Art is the term that I find more akin to my art because better emphasizes my style and themes. Outsider is a broader term.

Garden of Delights XV

Garden of Delights XV

What are you working on at the moment?

I’m always working on new ideas and tests to realise my visions. Even the study of new digital tools is essential; I’m constantly updating. I started working on my portfolio / catalogue that I will distribute along with limited edition prints for those who want to buy them. I’m receiving lots of requests at the moment (and that’s great!)

Landscape 9 - Towers

Landscape 9 – Towers

Where do you see your work taking you in the future?

It would be nice to enter into the good graces of some enlightened gallery that doesn’t disdain digital art. I’d also like to realise my own sculptures, starting with my three-dimensional work. I also want to continue collaborations with other artists to create unique, valuable works of art.


Click here to see more of Daniele’s work

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