Beyond the Bio: Dana Younger

Beyond the Bio is a series that takes you past the canvas and into the minds of the artists and curators who build the contemporary arts community.

Sculptor Dana Younger will be stop no. 48 of WEST, May 13th – 14th & 20th – 21st at Blue Genie Art Bazaar.

ArtistDana Younger, Austin

Primary mediumSculpture

Why do you make art?

I am interested in concept, process, the figure and the intersection of art and technology. My interest in process and learning new techniques has been with me for a long time and led me down many interesting paths. Currently I am using photogrammetry, a process that uses photography to create 3D mesh objects in the computer. I’ve been capturing images of friends, rendering them in 3D and using those as my models for figurative sculpture.

Why sculpture?

I love sculpture because it’s inclusive of so many materials and processes. In this realm, I can make figurative sculpture, furniture, wall hangings, monumental objects or anything else that suits my conceptual agenda.

 How long have you been an artist and how has your practice changed over time?

I’ve been a visual artist for about 20 years. I migrated from the theater to visual art in the 90s. As a partner at Blue Genie Art Industries for 10 years, I had a hand in making all kinds of things and got a great foundation in all manner of art processes. In the last three years, I’ve become interested in the figure. I believe the figure offers a broad, accessible starting point for art concepts.  The joint shows I’ve done with my wife, Felice House, helped focus my desire to make art that is about something. Together we’ve had a show called Re•Western which explored the myths and stereotypes of the western genre and one called Sum You Some Me which talked about gender, nature and fragmentation. I’m all for aesthetics but also want my art to be grounded in meaning.  For me, having a conceptual basis is central to my purpose for making art.

What are you working on right now?

My current body of work is #solidfriends, which debuted in January at Dimension Gallery. This work is about the changing nature of friendship in our digital age. With this work, I am having a brief, photo-based encounter with my model then digitizing the model and creating portraits in isolation. This workflow is, for me, a proxy for much of my contemporary experience of friendship. I found t a great quote by Miranda July which served as a launch point for my concept. She said, “we had once called out hello into the cauldron of the world and then run away before anyone could respond.”

What does the Austin arts community need most as the city continues to grow?

The Austin Art Community needs patrons, venues and sustainable studio space.

Dana Younger is a process fanatic. He uses a wide variety of sculptural mediums to call attention to cultural heritage that warrants reexamination. Humor, beauty and biting commentary combine in his work and invite the viewer to take another look.

Younger earned a BA in Theater from the University of Texas at Austin. His experiences in the theater, including acting, directing and prop making, all culminated in an interest in art fabrication and business. With more than 25 years in sculpture fabrication, he has handled a vast array of materials used in fabrication. This experience, along with his love of theatricality, comes to play in his work. Currently, Younger is a partner producing an annual holiday art show and a manger of artists, designers and fabricators for the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.

Keep up with Dana on his website, Instagram, and Facebook.

Beyond the Bio is curated by Art Alliance Austin. If you’re interested in being featured email Ashlee at apryor@artallianceaustin.org.