Austin | March 23, 2021
Q+A: Tappan Collective Artist in Residence, Danny Lane
Last month we were excited to host LA photographer Danny Lane at Austin Proper as part of our ongoing artist residency program in collaboration with Tappan Collective.
Lane works within themes of intimacy and juxtaposition, shooting on 35mm film to uniquely capture color-driven, cinematic moments. During the start of the quarantine, at a time when he was cut off from his portrait subjects and surrounded by his works, Lane set out to iterate on his own creations. Through the laborious process of varying editing techniques, Lane altered and transformed his photos through film scanning and remixing parts of the photography process, giving them a new life…”filtering” his experiences.
His residency stay at Austin Proper again challenged him to view his work from a new perspective within a changing environment — exploring the Texas environment as well as capturing architectural detail within the hotel and its relationship to Proper guests.
On the heels of his time in Austin, we spoke with Danny –
Q: Tell us about yourself and how you came to be an artist.
I started acting in plays when I was about 10 years old. I did theatre throughout college and I still act today. I also play music and have been in various bands and projects since high school. I found photography through a role in a movie about 10 years ago and I haven’t looked back since!
Q: What is your creative process like?
This will sound vague, but I’ve become a master at going with the flow! I don’t plan so much and I choose to follow my instincts when it comes to a project. Then when I start that project, I just go full steam ahead until it is finished. A photo project, series, book, collection of prints — whatever it is — it consumes me. When I’m finished, I kind of just put it in the past.
Q: What draws you to photography?
I love the timelessness of it. I still shoot on film and I love the physical aspect of getting through a roll of film, cutting the negatives, and scanning it in. I also love the social aspect of photography. Even when I’m not shooting a person, there are still many conversations about photography that I just find exciting.
Q: What inspires you?
I think I’m most inspired when I see a good movie or hear a good album. All the arts inspire each other. I’m rarely inspired by photography.
Q: When do you make your best work?
When I’m left alone to just do my own thing. I sometimes suffer when there is too much pressure to shoot what someone else wants me to shoot. You can’t really put a leash on a creative person!
Q: What influence does your environment (Austin Proper, for instance) have on your work?
Environment is everything! Traveling for photo work is my all time favorite thing to do, hands down! For my recent residency in Austin, I had such a refreshing time walking around a new city, meeting strangers, and taking photos with my Rolleiflex around unfamiliar corners. The hotel itself is so beautiful — after a day of shooting, it was beyond luxurious being able to retire to such a place.
Q: What messages or emotions do you hope to convey through your art?
I hope to portray a feeling of comfort and I hope to eliminate the restraints of time. I like making “warm” photos and don’t want to put people on edge when looking at them. A sense of nostalgia and familiarity can go a long way, especially at a time like this!
Q: Who are some creative people who have influenced you?
I’ve been saying forever that the filmmaker Ingmar Bergman is a giant influence on my work and my thoughts about work. I also really love the abstract expressionist painters from the New York School, like Rothko, Motherwell, Pollock, etc. I also feel influenced by my friends. My old friend from New York Alex Meyers was a huge influence on me and my friend Noel is always making new projects and that’s exciting for me.
Q: What makes you excited about the future?
I feel a true energy about my photography right now and I’m selfishly really excited to just be shooting all the time. In a more worldly sense, I’m obviously excited for this virus to evaporate so we can work toward a better, more rich, and inclusive future.