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Daniel Peddle Recommends

The New York-based painter and filmmaker presents his UNDERTOW expo after experiencing 'the green tunnel' effect in the Appalachian mountains

Having been pointed in the right direction by hardcore bikers, filmmaker Daniel Peddle four years ago discovered 'the green tunnel' effect. It makes nature appear to 'swallow' the road you're walking on and made Peddle feel like the earth wanted him back. The experience set off a frenzy of painting sessions on a similar theme and the result - UNDERTOW - can now be viewed at New York's NP Contemporary Art Center. Using acrylic, tempera, gouache, watercolor, and charcoal, Peddle mixes his 70s style of painting with a more modern ethereal quality. Dazed spoke to Peddle, who primarily works as a casting director for Philip Lim and Givenchy's menswear, and got the lowdown to his expo and also a few of his artistic preferences in general...

Dazed Digital: What was the starting point for your exhibition?
Daniel Peddle: I was making my second feature documentary called Trail Angels which exposes the subculture of the hikers of the Appalachian Trail and the community dedicated to helping them… while filming, the hikers brought my attention to what they call “the green tunnel” a hallucinatory effect wherein the woods seem to engulf one’s path. These dreamlike moments revealed to me how much the earth wants you back. I wanted to try and capture this “force” or “undertow” in a paintings series.

Can you recommend...

One painting that everyone should see?
... One of Francis Bacon’s earliest works Crucifixion from 1933. What he accomplished in this small visceral almost crude black and white piece foreshadows and eclipses all his later efforts in my opinion.

...The most incredible public sculpture ever made?
... Doris Salcedo’s 2003 installation for the 8th International Istanbul Biennial: an enormous mound of 1,550 chairs that occupied the vacant space between two buildings on a commercial street in the centre of the city.

...The most artistic sexual position?
... Asphyxiation!

...Three ways in which art can save your life?
... 1) When you need to commiserate, history offers a burgeoning plethora of artists who suffered more than you can even imagine. 2) Soulless gimmicky “concept” art makes you feel a lot better about watching music videos and reading fashion rags!
3) When you are really broke and feeling like a nobody, art openings offer free booze and no door lists.

...The most inspiring artist(s) ever to walk the earth?
... Alberto Giacometti and Josef Koudelka!

...The most challenging piece of work since Duchamp exhibited a toilet bowl?
... Yves Klein’s Zone de Sensibilité Picturale Immatérielle (1959-1962)
A performance piece where Klein sold “empty space” in exchange for gold and then in an elaborate ritual witnessed by an art dealer or critic, would throw half the gold in the Seine and make the buyer burn the receipt. He sold eight “pieces”.

...The most important element of Warhol's legacy?
... Mining the intersection of art and celebrity culture, making work that speaks directly to the market, figuring out how to exploit his “friends”

...Three reasons why art is the new religion?
... 1) Believers often have martyr complexes. 2) Both manage to escape tax laws. 3) You’re likely to get a sermon when all you wanted was to meditate

...One work of art that actually changed the world?
... The Hubble Space Telescope

...The most interesting thing since breakfast?
... The strange high I just got from spraying acrylic varnish…

UNDERTOW, May 5 – 29, 2011, NP Contemporary Art Center, 131 Chrystie Street, Between Delancey and Broome Street, New York, NY 10002