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Studio: Dan Szor

A multidisciplinary artist who can call himself a multidisciplinary artist without sounding like a complete tool.

af VICE Staff
14 maj 2012, 11:30am


Dan next to his landlord's pigeon coop.

Dan Szor is one of those multidisciplinary artists who can call himself a multidisciplinary artist without sounding like a complete tool. His work spans sinister, bugged-out video lookbooks for designer Rael Stone, seizure-inducing gifs and poetic, text-based projects, all of which radiate the suburban banality and creepiness that he says interests him. Besides producing his own art, Dan regularly contributes to Russian magazine Hooligan, lectures at Salford University and is currently studying for a master's degree. He also used to be the art director and deputy editor of Super Super magazine. Yeah, he's a busy dude. Dan lives and works above a car-servicing garage in Peckham, where his bedroom overlooks a coop of homing and racing pigeons that his landlord keeps at the end of his garden, which, unsurprisingly, have featured in some of Dan's past work.   

"These are multiple pictures of my dad next to some porn. I got really obsessed with the cover of Sister by Sonic Youth and tried to make some art that looked like it by drawing over a page from a porno magazine. I'm not so sure how well it worked out." 

"I used to live with Susanne from No Bra, and when she moved to New York she left all these Jean-Charles de Castelbajac posters behind, so I stole them all. I like a lot of his visuals, but I'm not sure about his clothes. I think I'm getting more into, like, Ann Demeulemeester and that Belgian, straight-lines, smart thing. My nu-rave days ruined the out-there, Castelbajac look for me. I took it too far and now I can't go back."

"This is the T-Shirt Party shirt I collaborated on with my house-mate Jimmy Merris. That's our landlord in the picture – he keeps pigeons down the end of his garden – and, at the time, we were both obsessed with "This Is The One" by The Stone Roses because both of us support Manchester United and they sometimes play that song at Old Trafford. Plus, it's quite a euphoric song so it sounded really surreal when we slowed it down for the video. I like messing around with stuff like that, making it a bit creepy. Not shocking, just subtly creepy. Like some of the work I've done with Rael Stone, for instance. I don't want people to think I'm trying to shock, because I'm not at all, I just want it to come across as kind of ominous and creepy."

"When I was at Super Super, we did a feature on Is Tropical, and Simon, one of the singers, gave me this jacket. My dad's family is Polish and my grandma is obsessed with John Paul II because he was the first Polish Pope, so I have a few Pope things dotted around. It's a bit of a family fixation."

"I've been teaching an image making and styling course at Salford University, helping the third years with their ideas. I love this one. It was supposed to look like Grace Jones, but it turned out looking more like Sade or some Nollywood/Lagos version of Grace Jones. There's another girl who's based a whole shoot around the concept of falling over and tripping up, which I love, because it seems to have potentially infinite meanings. I like working with young people and helping them bring their ideas to fruition because so many people seem to think their ideas are shit when, really, they're not. People need reassurance that just because the idea's weird, it doesn't mean it's rubbish. In fact, the weirdest ideas are sometimes the best ideas."

"I got this from a car boot sale I went to with my dad. I find that a lot of normal, banal things, like car boot sales, give me ammunition for my films, along with general suburbia. If I filter down everything I do, it's all just an exploration of how the little things in life are far more important than the big things. Like the way a person moves their arm can be far more expressive than someone shouting. I'm a big believer in the whisper rather than the shout." 

"I never really wear these shirts anymore, but I really like the idea and look of hanging, folded fabric. I got a bit obsessed with things being folded over, after seeing some of Wolfgang Tillmans' work, so all these shirts are here more as decoration than something I'd actually wear."   

"This is a project I've been working on called Drafts, which is all the ideas or weird little things I've written down in the drafts section of my phone. It's funny, you're drunk and you write something, then you look back at it and think, "Fucking hell, what was I thinking?", but sometimes they can be ace. It's all about retaining all of your ideas and never discarding anything."

"I love all these flyers you get around Peckham and Stratford. It doesn't look like there's been much thought put into the layout or any attempt at art direction, but I love that aesthetic – it somehow looks really fresh. I really want something new and exciting to start up, because I feel like there hasn't been any fun movements since nu-rave, but I don't want to be the person to start it. I'd like to be the mogul, kind of like Malcolm McLaren, teaching and showing people how it can be done."

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