Daniel David Freeman – Joseph and Other Beasts | Beach London
Ridiculously talented illustrator Daniel David Freeman unleash’s a wild set of new drawings at his second show ‘joseph & Other beasts’ on Now at beach london
He’s worked with the V & A, Vice, Dazed, cult zine Pavement Licker, Puma, Adidas and Converse. He famously created some of the sexiest muscle bound woman London has ever seen at his last show Azaleas Amazons, and recently spent a shitload of time trudging through the brilliantly niche and obscure world of DeviantArt. Daniel David Freeman is a wickedly gifted, unafraid and accomplished artist no doubt, but this time he’s taking things to a new place, letting his imagination take over. Debuting his second show at Beach London, inspired by the raw uncontrived creativity of the online art world, arcane perversions and his own fascination with fantasy and sci-fi fan art.
I was lucky to sneak a few minutes with him to talk about the new show and how ‘Joseph & Other Beast’s all came together….
When did you been start working on Joseph & Other Beasts?
DANIEL DAVID FREEMAN: A couple years ago I thought it would be a good idea to provide fantasy style portraits to my friends as a fun way to make a bit of beer money. It all started then I suppose.
Do you have a favourite beast/piece from the show?
I like the Judge Dredd one most. I used to religiously draw Judge Dredd in my early teens and Brian Bolland’s judge death series is something I’ve always referenced in my drawing. I suppose its the best example of how I’ve reverted back to a simpler way of thinking about my drawing.
You said your process for this show was letting go and kinda seeing where the pen took you. Were you surprised or shocked with the outcome of any of the pieces. Did you ever finish a drawing and think “Fuck, where did that vagina with fangs come from?”
For most of these I do mock ups to draw from on photoshop and then draw from those. The drawings take so long I get kind of used to them by the end. There are points when I did laugh to myself about what I was drawing, but I personally don’t find them that shocking. I’m ok with them, theres a lot worse shit out there. After watching the first two Urotsikidoji films on Youtube you start to realise how I have my limits.
You say in the press release that you wanted to ‘explore people’s reactions to taboos around sexual imagery’ with the show. There’s no shortage of flesh, taboo breaking and risk taking in Joseph and Other Beast’s. Was it a conscious effort to really push the drawings as far as you could take them? Maybe channel your inner ‘DA-er’ and own fetishes?
I suppose the point of this exhibition was putting myself in the position of people who draw this kind of shit all the time. I by no means just want to draw cocks and porn for the rest of my life. It was an excuse to do stuff that I would never get commissioned for. I don’t know, I was more trying to express how far people’s imaginations can go – its easy to assume when you see nudity that the image has a sexual motive but maybe the online fantasy art that influenced me was from the same point of view as mine. Its impossible to tell whats tongue in cheek and what isn’t – although I wouldn’t like people to think I was being ironic with the drawings. I could of pushed them way further and theres a whole load of taboos I didn’t go near but I need to sell some of it at the end of the day and my browsing history is fucked up enough!
DeviantArt.com has played a pretty big role as an inspiration or kinda muse for your work over the past two shows. When did the fascination for the site first begin? Has there been a particular artist or category that’s drawn you in more than others?
I never particularly follow one artist from there. Stylistically its all pretty disgusting, I can’t say theres anyone on there whose work I think is good looking although some of the people are obviously massively talented its an area of ‘art’ that generally doesn’t interest me aesthetically. The thing I love about it is the journeys you find yourself on. I love the community element of it. No matter how strange that drawing of a winged, half human, half zebra cat, erection wielding sex demon is you look down the side to the related images and theres always something equally as odd done by someone else probably from an entirely different part of the planet. People react to each others work so directly – the encouragement within each of its niche communities is really refreshing to see. I suppose its that outsider element – 99% people are keen amateurs with no audience besides that website.
You’ve become pretty notorious since your last show at Beach ‘Azalea’s Amazons’ for your ripped, bulging muscle characters. Do you work out?
Ha. I am a member of a gymnasium. I never touch any of the weights though.
I know you’ve been doing some commissions for friends. Have you been tempted to do any muscly self portraits?
I did one for a lynx campaign a couple years ago – its on my website.
Lastly any hints on what your working on now or what’s next?
Tax evasion mainly
Joseph & Other Beasts
On Now – Until 30th August
Beach London | Free Admission
Words by Tracy Kawalik and Daniel David Freeman