Context

Daniel Westfield is an artist living in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (USA) and a member of New Boone artist collective


 

Current Work

Gymnós, acrylic on gym mat, 96 in. x 48 in., 2015

Gymnós, acrylic on gym mat, 96 in. x 48 in., 2015

  • Westfield uses the demanding nature of calisthenic movements to make marks. Wooden plinths and gym mats record the residue of movement via erosion at contact points and body imprints, respectively. Exploring one's capability and the outward expression of this potential in the form of feats of endurance and strength is Westfield's concern. Richard Long's A Line Made By Walking used his footsteps to temporarily alter the surrounding English countryside. In walking back and forth, Long realized the potential in this simple, repetitive activity to birth form. In Yves Klein's Anthropometrie paintings the torso of nude models was employed as a human paintbrush. These notions of the body as a tool for mark-making resonate with Westfield's endeavor to alter surfaces with repetitious, taxing effort, thereby creating a chronicle to the simultaneously grueling and rewarding experience of movement.
Can You Hang, pull-up bar and aluminum dibond print, 30 in. x 46 in. x 30 in., 2013-2016 (Philadlephia, PA)

Can You Hang, pull-up bar and aluminum dibond print, 30 in. x 46 in. x 30 in., 2013-2016 (Philadlephia, PA)

  • Located mere feet away from a public bus stop on the streets of Philadelphia, Westfield created twenty-four hour access to a pull-up bar. This piece of unsanctioned Relational Art questioned social norms regarding where, when and how to exercise. Karl Marx termed interstice as any type of exchange outside of capitalism. Building on that, Nicholas Bourriaud characterized yet to be codified art that was free and available to all in the 1990s as social interstice. This genre, officially coined Relational Aesthetics (or Relational Art) by Bourriaud, is defined as a "set of artistic practices which take as their theoretical and practical point of departure the whole of human relations and their social context, rather than an independent and private space" (Nicholas Bourriaud Relational Aesthetics p. 113). Exercise need not be relegated to zones of fitness (e.g. gyms, one's home or alongside running/bike trails), rather one can move anywhere. An accompanying sign welcomed all by playfully begging the question "Can You Hang."
Chair, performance, 2012

Chair, performance, 2012

  • Along with camera equipment and supplies, Westfield carried a sofa chair approximately 33 miles from Philadelphia, PA to Wilmington, DE over the course of 32 hours and 56 minutes in late November. This was Westfield's take on a self-portrait; a backbreaking performance in which his body was pushed past it's perceived limits in between the self-timer shots in the chair.