Dan Kistler is a visual media artist living and working out of the central part of the United States. He has been making art from the time he could hold a device that would leave a mark— the walls in his boyhood home were his first canvas. His pathway in art involves stops along the way at Principia College for an undergraduate degree in art, two-year of classes at The Center for Creative Studies, a decade of work as an illustrator in the Detroit market, a MA in drawing from Webster University, which all feeds into where he is today—back at Principia College where he teaches digital media, illustration, and photography, and leads study abroad programs to Greece, Turkey, and Italy.
Dan’s work is influenced by a wide range of artists—he loves the work of the abstract expressionist period as a primary starting point into the art world. Lee Bontecou, Franz Kline, Clifford Still, Robert Motherwell, are among the many influences on his art practice. The first artist that really caught his eye was Andrew Wyeth. While working as an illustrator in Detroit he spent countless hours studying the history of illustration and graphic design. You might find him examining work of the 13th century at the local art museum just as easily as the contemporary wing.
Dan’s current work is taking a number of directions. In photography he has stepped back into the darkroom and has fallen in love all over again with film photography—the grain, the anticipation, the unexpected results, and the touch it takes to get an image worth working with The subject matter of the photos is wide-ranging—rural roads of Illinois, portraits, closeup images of tiny natural objects, and travel. He works with digital images as well but the real soul of photography is found in analog photography and he plans to continue to expand his work with film.
In painting Dan is working currently on a series of images based on moments, places, events from on his travels to Greece over the past 11 years. The work is a combination of exploration of giving form to the emotions and feelings this part of the world has left on him, exploration of mapping of places, and the effects of ancient history on the current cultures of Greece, Italy and Turkey.
In addition to painting and photography Dan spends as much time in the woodshed as possible producing tables and boxes. And when he is not in the woodshed he is making books by hand. Find his work at his Esty shop.