Upon entering Damon Soule’s Painted Room, the viewer feels compelled to linger, absorbing and identifying the room’s forms and characters. A multi-faced, half-organic robot commiserates with birds who wear their hearts on the outside. They are listening to the elegant, symphonic swoops of black ink, and meditating on whether the borrowed blueprints will unstick themselves from the walls and set out to find their lost structures.
Visitors to Room 206 should stand with the birds while they still can. According to Soule, he is moving away from organic forms and into more robotic ones. In fact, over the past few years his interest has turned to sculpture. His medium of choice: cardboard, as appears here.
Soule, who enjoys the rare luxury of life as a full-time artist, has completed an extensive project furnishing pieces for Luna Park in San Francisco and Los Angeles; he is currently creating art for the entire New York location. He was also commissioned to paint murals on the bedroom walls of Danielle Steele’s daughters. Absolutely none of these accomplishments have tarnished his humility – a quality that may spring from the fact that his father was a painter. Growing up with an artist-family member endowed Soule with the courage to pursue art as a kid while dissipating romantic notions of the artistic life.
“I’m not one of those people that thinks that art is untouchable,” he says. “Artists are artisans – it’s a skill like a tradesperson. It’s like hiring someone to hang drywall.”
“I still have more freedom than most jobs. I have plenty of time to do what I want. It’s a job – a fun job. I’m really fortunate. A lot of people have jobs making bombs, for example. I could be doing that.”
Proof that God exists: Damon Soule is a painter, not a bomb-maker.