Saturday, October 3, 2009



by Dani Selvaggio


It is at last complete!

My favorite sort of media is "mixed," so when I came up with the idea for "Killer," I immediately jumped upon the approach of mixed media.

I'm hoping that this piece will be one of the stand-outs when I have a show. I'm really happy with the way it came out, though I may end up adding more to it in the future. Don't be misled by the 2-D appearance of the work: it's actually inclusive of a lot of 3-dimensional elements. For example, the astronaut in the forefront is not simply plastered to the canvas. He's actually floating about two or three inches above it. The "heart," comprised of tangled thread, is free-hanging between him and the canvas. I used recycled styrofoam as a base for the "floating" appearance (styrofoam doesn't biodegrade for a few millennia, so I try to put it to use when I can).

I'm glad I was successful in making the astronaut float so that you can still see the detail of Kali and Pele from certain angles. I want people to feel like they can approach this piece and inspect it close-up - I'm glad that you can still see the grand majority of it all.


Thursday, October 1, 2009

Far Fallen

"Far Fallen"
by Dani Selvaggio
for sale

I am a huge fan of Italian opera and Puccini in particular. My absolute favorite opera of all time is Madame Butterfly. What is ALSO very special to me is a memory I have of going to see this opera for the first time as a treat from my father when I was about twelve years old. I was absolutely captivated by the climax where Butterfly commits seppuku and Pinkerton rushes onto the stage only seconds too late. For the number of scenes leading up to the final one, the Soprano playing Butterfly has been clutching and wringing her hands in agony. And then as she slits her wrists, she throws her hands up into the air...and, cascading to the stage come these liquid, unfurling ribbons of bright red silk. It was the most beautiful thing I have ever seen in my life.

I kinda hate this painting because it doesn't come anywhere even close to capturing what I saw.  Oh well.  I might take another crack at it in the future.

Cradle of Civilization

"Cradle of Civilization"
by Dani Selvaggio

The photo of this piece did NOT come out well (again with the digital cameras!). In order to get clear shots in my studio, I had to angle the camera against the painting in a really strange way. It resulted in either weirdly distorted photos of the image or blurry shots. *sigh*

"Cradle of Civilization" was my particpation in a 24-hour art project for an organization that was raising money to support developing communities in Kenya. It was a donation that was auctioned off.

Here's a better glimpse at some of the detail. Again, I had to take these photos quickly, but they ended up coming out very...wacky? At any rate, enjoy!

Friday, September 18, 2009

In progress: KILLER

Here are some parts to my upcoming piece KILLER. I'm hoping that this will be finished by spring 2010!

I had enormous fun constructing the raven, although using scissors to get a clean, straight cut on miniscule pieces of black paper was certainly a pain. However, I'm incredibly happy with the result. A lot of its detail is completely lost in this image, so you will have to keep checking back for updates. :-)

Have I mentioned that I hate digital cameras?


by Dani Selvaggio
in progress

The title "Recompense" is an little bit of a joke. The person who commissioned this piece had been competitively bidding on another piece of mine, but lost and were vocally bummed out. I agreed to make them a personal piece that to make up for their loss. Nevertheless, take the title to mean what you will!

I decided to do a single image that tranlated onto two pieces of canvas. Considering that I didn't know how large their display area was, I decided to use two smaller canvases so that they didn't take up too much space. The size of the original painting in question was my reference.

Because the original painting had to do with what I like to call "confined nature," or an instance of man displaying nature in his own constructed habitat, I decided to do something similar here: twigs in a jar of rocks.

Winter's End in California

"Winter's End in California"
by Dani Selvaggio

This piece was done as a birthday gift for a woman I love who celebrates her birthday in the summertime. However, she always reminds me of spring! For those of you that live in Southern California, you know that our seasons hardly vary...we have windy, fiery, dry, and more dry. But the best time to see California is that liminal season between winter and spring, when everything is at its freshest and the wildflowers are beginning to grow. I tried to evoke something colorful and "new" in this image, but kept it as simplistic as possible at the same time.

Here are some details for the bougainvillea:

Friday, August 7, 2009

"Despite a Wall"
by Dani Selvaggio
For sale
Although this piece doesn't quite fit in with the rest of my style of work, I do adore it very much so. The colors are particularly important here, especially because the character that emphasizes a masculinity is done in the culturally feminine hue, whereas the character that emphasizes femininity is colored in the masculine. Yet each tone fits.
This was back when I unfortunately titled my paintings on the actual canvas itself. Silly me! Additionally, my painting signature was different as well. Nevertheless, the painting itself is one of my personal favorites. I enjoy limiting my color palette and seeing where that takes me. Sometimes the best way to encourage creativity is to restrict oneself!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009


"The Mural Painting"
by Dani Selvaggio


Private Collection

This is my first piece when I came back into "doing art." Don't let the cartoonish look of the face fool you - this is actually an homage to a hidden mural in my childhood neighborhood that has since become overgrown with geranium bushes and bougainvillea vines. This canvas captures the last soft smile of the sun before the plants overtake the wall completely.

This piece is a favorite of mine to display and it's certainly made its rounds. Right now it's being loaned to a private collection until the end of this year.

Friday, July 24, 2009


What follows is a hint at what I'm hoping my photo project will continue to look like. I'm ridiculously happy with how this series is coming out (thanks to my first two models, Devi and Erica). I'm hoping to capture various stages of life that one might not consider stereotypical, but which are things that every human being must go through.

Here is Devi at Leo Carrillo State Park. Hers is actually meant to be the last photo of the series. I picked out a white dress for her, which ended up being a REALLY great contrast to the sand. As for the divided, florally lit pathway we found...that was just luck. The angle is probably my most favorite thing in this photo - it really makes everything just flow perfectly.

And here is Erica. This photo was taken in my hometown, which is the perfect stage for this shot. As gorgeous as she is, and as much as she deserves to be at the forefront, I was glad to have this shot come out with the flowers being what is in focus. I chose a sepia tone for developing the photo, but I also want to post the original colors as well, because the costume I pulled together was so vivid; it really gives a different sense of the scene:

Really, there is a lot more to it, but I don't want to give it all away just yet. My biggest issue right now is whether or not I want this project to focus solely on photography - which was my original plan - or if I want to take the next step forward and turn it into a collage project. I suppose I can make that decision once I get all of my photos together.
All photos for this project were taken with my trusty ol' Canon Rebel film camera. I hate digital cameras so much...I do take digital shots during the shoot as well, but those are mostly establishing shots to show the model as we go. just comes out so much better.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Line Drawings

These are a series of line drawings (ink only) that I did in 2001. They are part of a larger series that were intended for publication alongside poetry, but I never followed through and it kind of just dissolved.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Collage: LETTER

by Dani Selvaggio

One of my first collages, I allowed this one to go for very cheap. In retrospect, I would have liked to hold onto it a little longer, but I had an offer on the table. It's always more about getting your name and your art out there than it's about making money off of your work. If I could give away all my art, I would.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Photography: REBIRTH

"Rebirth" by Dani Selvaggio
Private Collection

This image was taken during a visit to a beautiful field of Mayan ruins in Latin America. I hate digital cameras, but I love to travel so I tend to have to reconcile the two...thank goodness I did, because otherwise I never would have gotten this delicate shot!

All of my travel photography is done with digital camera, but I prefer traditional film cameras because you're so much more aware of what you're shooting instead of just snapping a hundred shots at once and seeing what comes out. Truth be told, though, I'm amazed at what digital cameras can do nowadays! ...but when it comes down to it, I'll stick with my rolls of film. I guess I'm just nostalgic that way.


"The Reincarnation of Poetry"
by Dani Selvaggio

Here's a collage I did back in 2007 as a commission piece. Mixed media is my favorite type of art, because you're not limited to what you can create but you're still tested by practical limits. It's all about pushing the envelope.

This piece in particular is a collage on canvas (magazine and music sheets), with acrylics and glitter glue. Yes, glitter glue. That's one art supply I don't like using, really, but using it as a very limited resource added the feminine touch that the commissioning patron was asking for while still very much my own style.

It's one of my favorite recent collages.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Piece in Progress: KILLER

Although I have a number of paintings that I'll eventually be moving over from myspace, I thought I'd start with a piece that's currently in progress.

This piece is called KILLER, and it's meant to be a religious statement. I never go into detail about what my pieces mean because I'm of the mind that art should reflect the viewer's opinion.

That said, I hope you enjoy.

I started out with the background, which is simply acrylic on canvas.

This was followed up by the second layer, two watercolor images - one of the goddess Kali and one of the goddess Pele, both in aspects not typical to their mythology.

And, finally, I began to arrange the second layer onto the canvas. The positioning seen here is not permanent. Soon I will add the third and final main layer; afterwards, I will be able to go back and add the mixed media detail.

I certainly hope that future photos won't need to be edited. The edits you see here were done for myspace and facebook. But with blogspots "adult content" confirmation option, I'll be able to post my artwork here free from threats of removal.

After all, it's art.


Hello, World!

I hope I haven't misrepresented myself with the particularly black background of my new blog and the rather emolicious poetry in my personal description. I hope to have both updated with something more appealing soon.

My name is Dani and despite all of that mess, I'm actually a particularly happy person. I love art and I love making art. Sometimes my stuff isn't everyone's cup of tea, but I learn to live with it...because I'm quite picky about my own preferences as well. But at any rate, I hope you enjoy what I post here.

I'm abandoning the myspace page that, at one point, held all of my art images, because it has too many guidelines and threats to posting art people might find "offensive." My art is not, by any means, intended to be offensive - it's intended to be art, and art is only as much as what you want to take from it. But I do hope that some of my work makes people think or take a second look.

Thanks for stopping by. I hope you have some fun flipping through the images here.