Saturday, April 7, 2012

THE GREATEST SHOW ON EARTH | Imaginary Surrealism Takes the Stage in SoHo

Although life in the circus depends on discipline, struggle and sacrifice, it is divergent thinking that is the catalyst for the magic. This show is dedicated to the performer and the double lives they must lead.

A new collection of paintings by Daniel Merriam depicts both the pain and pleasure of struggle not only in the circus, but also in the lives we lead in an urban society. The artist invites us to explore the pressures and and delicate balance that is required in order to remain above the chaos of every day life.  Just as the performer clings to the wire above the ever-present color and distractions, so must the viewer avoid mistakes by focusing on what matters most.

The exhibition was inspired by one painting that the artist created in 2010 entitled The Greatest Show on Earth, in which a fantastical caged beast is on display in a coach embellished with Victorian era accoutrements. The creature is exquisite and bizarre, and has a presence that seems content to have launched a show to pleasure and entertain the viewer.

"It has been said by many artists that art is often the result of a struggle. I can attest to this based on years of devoting my abilities to an art form heavily reliant on discipline. Both the body and the mind are fully employed in such an effort.  In my case it is the urge to create ever upstaged challenges both in my paintings and my real life as well, that gets me from frenzy to frustration to exhaustion.  I strive to work sculpturally and architecturally as I paint. Each time the environment becomes more of an obstacle as I encounter the physical limitations inherent with being human."

Born in 1963 in a rural town in Maine, Daniel Merriam is one of seven artistic children. He taught himself to paint at a very young age, and used his art as a method of reflective play throughout his childhood. He went on to study mechanical and architectural design at Central Maine Vocational Technical Institute. While still in school, he applied his dimensional skills and passion for architecture to his family's design and construction business.In 1986, Merriam shifted his focus solely to fine art, and later that year had his first solo exhibition in Maine. Since then, his exhibitions throughout the United States & Europe  have been lauded and achieved critical acclaim. Merriam's work is included in countless private collections and in such public collections as The Riverside Museum of Art in California, The Gesundheit! Institute in Virginia, the Manhattan Club in New York, and the Merrill Lynch collection.

The artist will attend the unveiling of the new works at an opening reception on May 26th from 6 to 8 pm. The reception is free and open to the public with RSVP requested to

AFA is located at 54 Greene Street (corner of Broome Street), in the SoHo neighborhood of New York City. Hours are Monday - Saturday, 10am - 7pm and Sundays 11am - 6pm. To request more information contact Heidi Leigh at or 212.226.7374.

1 comment:

  1. I saw his work in San Diego. I was speechless. I couldn't walk away from those enchanting paintings... Superb!