MONTCLAIR, NJ.- The Montclair Art Museum
(MAM) has selected Dan Fenelon to create a site-specific mural for its Blanche & Irving Laurie Foundation Art Stairway. Fenelon is working on the mural throughout October and plans to complete it by November 1. The final mural will measure 4 feet high x 32 feet wide, starting 12 feet from the ground. The Stairway faces east, toward Bloomfield Avenue, and will be highly visible from the street.
Dan Fenelon is best known for his vibrantly colored works that include sculpture, toys, paintings, and murals. His work blends cartooning, street art, graffiti, and ancient tribal motifs. This mural is inspired by works in MAMs permanent collection, which Fenelon re-imagines with his distinct tribal style. Apparent in the mural are Tony Abeytas Hunters Procession, 1995, animal imagery found on both totem poles and transformation masks, and various pottery, basketry, and katsina images found within MAMs Rand Gallery of Native American art. Fenelon, like Abeyta, believes that if paintings are successful, they should communicate a powerful force, a feeling that is contained in all of us. In this work, Fenelon translates these feelings and inspirations of native art into his own vocabulary and vision.
MAM Director Lora Urbanelli said: Dan approaches his canvas intent on capturing a deep and serious cultural spirit. In the synthesis, myth and symbol are processed through a graphic filter that combines depth of meaning with a lighthearted and dazzling presentation. The result is both youthful and mature, thought-provoking and downright fun!
Speaking about his work, Fenelon said: My art infuses a blend of cartooning, street modernism, and ancient, labor-intensive tribal motifs, along with an explosion of vibrant colors. Cartoons were a big influence on me growing up, and when I began to examine Egyptian hieroglyphs and Aztec codes, I made a connection between them and modern sequential art.
A native of Montclair, Fenelon currently lives in Madison, NJ. He has also recently completed a mural for the Montclair Public Library.