Visual artists are often one of the types of professions that I struggle to write about. For the most part, their art is what they’re most known for. And not much else. Depending on how well-known an artist is, the kind of details you get about their lives can be sparse or very detailed. It’s actually not just visual artists. Sometimes there are people who people know for decades but don’t really have any detailed biographies written about them. You just kind of have to weave a story based on the details that you can get.
Take Dan Colen, for example. If you are familiar with the New York art scene, you may be familiar with that name. But more often than not, people don’t really get that much access to the type of art that a person like Dan creates. Art often has a barrier of entry most of the time. If you don’t have the money to pay to get in, you don’t really get to see the artwork or the installations upfront. You do have to get immersed in the space to fully appreciate those artworks.
Like I said at the start of this post, there isn’t really that many details about Dan’s upbringing that you can find on the internet. The most I could find is that he grew up in New Jersey with a father who was an artist. It’s not uncommon for people to find interest in a certain profession because of how they grew up. Musicians, or ones that I have gotten the chance to write about, often grew up listening to music.
His father was a sculptor who primarily worked with wood and clay. He also was part of a reality series that was focused on artists. I honestly didn’t know that that was a thing. But looking at where that reality series aired, it didn’t seem like it was aired on a network that was widely available. It did premiere in Cannes for some reason.
Dan grew up wanting to be a basketball player. It’s great that he had other interests. But knowing that he was a little surprising although it seemed believable. He was also into skateboarding. I mean, which teenagers weren’t into skateboarding? There isn’t much to be known about his high school life aside from that.
Eventually, Dan went on to study at the Rhode Island School of Design. It’s definitely one of the places to learn how to become an artist. I am vaguely familiar of the name of the school. But I’m not really sure if any of the other people that I had written about went to the same school. Dan graduated with a BFA in painting in 2001.
Shortly after graduating, he moved to the East Village in Manhattan. I guess it makes sense that he’d move to New York City to further his career as an artist. There’s just something about NYC that fosters creativity. Having a close proximity to multiple art spaces really helps, I guess. New York City is a big arts and culture destination. From the theaters in Broadway to the various museums that you go to, you can never really run out of ways to experience and see art.
During his time in Lower Manhattan, Dan managed to befriend fellow artists Ryan McGinley and Dash Snow. They were a pretty close-knit group of friends. They seem to have supported each other in their endeavors, sometimes making their own art out of the same subject. Unfortunately, Dash Snow died from a drug overdose in 2009. That lead to Dan getting sober.
Dan managed to create so much art during the mid-2000s, most of which were widely popular among art afficionados. Some of the art that he made fetch for at least $3,000,000. It seems that living in the city became a bit too much for Dan so he decided to move upstate to start Sky High Farm. I can certainly understand that kind of reasoning. Sometimes you just need to get a different perspective. His efforts to create a farm that gives fresh ingredients to communities that don’t really get access to it is commendable enough. Even though the farm is non-profit, Dan’s career as an artist still gives him a net worth of about $6,000,000.
TRENDING: Be Rich Like Dan Colen