d. m. allison

   Ever since I was old enough to mark up grandma's walls with a Crayola I've always wanted to draw, on something, or make something, and have had the privilege to do so for a long time. Even during the years with my collaboration studio located in the Redbud gallery building, and subsequently my Nau-haus gallery on 11th Street here in Houston, and D M Allison on Colquitt, I've never seen much difference about what my motivations are. I just like to create something new.
    My immediate reaction when someone wants a written statement about my visual artwork is point to the wall and say I just did that; I'm lazy that way, and I can do it better there on the wall than I ever will be to with a word processor. Remember I started out early in that particular creative arena, only now I can reach higher up on the wall.
    But here goes:; My visual art has always been a reaction to my surroundings, where I'm at, who am with, and what else I'm doing. Looking back, it seems I rarely set out with intention, the artwork  is just something that happens along the way. Strangely enough I find solitude in a crowd, calm in a storm, and inspiration from working with other artists. There's really no particular train of thought or style that is some silver thread through my process over the last 40 years. I’ll play with anything at hand. When I look at my work, I'm pretty sure there's more than one of me residing behind these eyes. Sure, there are brackets in time as I look back, but by now they seem more like episodes, more about circumstances than about direction, more situation than intention, more about curiosity than style.
    After closing my gallery on Colquitt late in 2016 I have banged around in a couple of directions, but life keeps bringing me back to being a “maker,” and of course always a supporter, but at present it’s important to me to be in the studio. To that end, I have set up a creative living and working situation, with a place to make, a place to live, and a place to play, complete with a couple of guitars. 
     I hope this doesn’t sound flippant. I am very serious about working on many ideas that have been waiting for me to have time to get started on. Knowing I couldn’t do the galleries and my own work at the same time, I had “hung up my brushes” for a while, and am starting back where I left off with the lenticular lens animations. In the early ‘80’s I was an etcher, in the ‘90’s a large format intaglio artist, in the 2000’s I worked in tandem with other artists in my studio for about ten years through 2010, and 2011 through 2016 it was all gallery owner all the time. That got old and so did I. I’ve had a year or so to reflect, and if I ever have the privilege again, I’d like to be an artist.

I like dogs, guitars, pretty girls, unusual cars, funny men, and money usually in about that order .....

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Allison printmaking demonstration, National Museum Belgrade 1989

some collaborations with artists and friends

Terrell James
Susan Plum
Virgil Grotfeldt
Sharon Kopriva
Sally Chandler
Rick Batrow
Robert Warren
Raine Bedsole
MIchael Collins
Patric Palmer
Nancy Kienholz
Meridith Jack
Marzia Fegan
Mark Bercier
Richard Stout
Dixie Friend Gay
Jeff Jennings
James Magee
George Gittoes
Ed Wilson
Delilah Montoya
Cora Cohen
Birgit Langhammer
Bert Long
Ann Harithas
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lenticular lens digital collaborations

Dropping Religion
lenticular lens graphic, 3 panels framed 72 x 96 inches (Kienholz)
Mohamed & Klan
lenticular lens graphic, framed 96 x 48 inches (Kienholz)
lenticular lens graphic, framed 24 x 24 inches (Kienholz)
Festival - Susan Plum
lenticular lens graphic, framed 30 x 30 inches
Angel & Shirley
lenticular lens graphic, framed 48 x 36 inches (Kienholz)
Jesus Santa
lenticular lens graphic, framed 24 x 18 inches (Kienholz)
Primary Colors
lenticular lens graphic, framed 40 x 40 inches (Kienholz)
Desert Rose (for collector)
lenticular lens graphic, framed 40 x 30 inches
Paved Streets
lenticular lens graphic, framed 60 x 48 inches (Kienholz)
Soldiers Cross
lenticular lens graphic, framed 48 x 32 inches (Kienholz)
Bowling for Burqas
lenticular lens graphic, framed 60 x 48 inches (Kienholz)
Buffalo Bill
lenticular lens graphic, framed 32 x 30 inches (Kienholz)
Basquiat (client Steve Thornton)
lenticular lens graphic, framed 30 x 36 inches
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airport proposal january 2019, Terminal C Bush IAH:  sky bars / wonder windows / cloud portals

The Sun's Family
Dan Allison, lenticular lens graphic, framed 32" x 28" 2008
The End Again
Dan Allison, lenticular lens graphic, framed 32" x 28" 2008
Teminal C
Cloud Portal Image
example of children's drawings and cloud animation for "Wonder Windows" and "Cloud Portals"
Teminal C - Location-11-Sky Bars
example of Sky Bar rainbow effect
Example of Sky Bar rainbow effect
Teminal C - Location 3
Rectangular Horizontal Window
example of children's drawings and cloud animation for "Wonder Windows" and "Cloud Portals"
Teminal C - Location-5-b
Teminal C - Location 3
example of Sky Bar rainbow effect
Terminal C - Location 4
Tall Wonder Windows
example of children's drawings and cloud animation for "Wonder Windows" and "Cloud Portals"
Terminal C - Location 4
Rainbow Sky Bars
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    Where did you want to go when you were 10 years old? What was your favorite thing? Our imaginations are boundless at that age. For me, as a youngster, there was nothing more exciting than getting to fly on a plane out to visit my grandparents in Sarasota FL and sitting in the window seat. A call for entries, age group 6 - 12 will be submitted through several area children's art schools for drawings seeking a response to "If you could go anywhere where would you go?" and "What would do you imagine you would find there?" The “Sky Bar,” “Window Works,” and “Cloud Portal” pieces that are proposed here are not only about our imaginations but traveling and destinations as well. All student participants would be rewarded with their own reproduction of the final artwork and recognition on an identifying wall plaque installed on site with the finished piece. I’m open to suggestions about where we could go to recruit our artists, but schools and organizations I am familiar with are listed at the bottom of this proposal. The final budget will include funds for the needed art supplies, and with guidance from the schools something for an award ceremony where our young artists are recognized for what I am sure will be pure genius. I don’t want to make this a “contest” as such.  Also, please note that for the purposes of this proposal I have gleaned just such images from the internet as examples. 

    The “Sky Bar,” “Window Work,” and “Cloud Portals” are lenticular lens graphics constructions. If you are familiar with the funny gag glasses with the eyes that opened and close, then you are familiar with the “lenticular lens” technique. So now please forget that image. I took lenticular art to new destinations in the early 2000’s and the technology has come a long, long way in the last 60 years. It’s really a beautiful method.

     I got involved with lenticular trying to solve a problem presented to me in my collaboration and printmaking studio. I worked with dozens of artists at the Redbud Gallery building over a 10-year period from 2000 through 2011. I produced work with friends Terrell James, James McGee, Richard Stout, and Ed Wilson, and sometimes worked digitally at a distance as was the case with Cora Cohen in New York. We were always pushing the boundaries of the usual printmaking and digital printing techniques in the studio. With each new artist, a new challenge. Every once in a while, an artist would present me with a real head scratcher, as was the case with Nancy Kienholz. The initial image was one of her, and another of her late husband Ed Kienholz, scanned from historical documentation done in the early 1970s. We had no good way to have one image morph into the other as desired with any regular studio techniques. You’ll see why we really wanted to do this when you see the finished example included with this proposal. Art historian David Brauer suggested using what he used to find as a surprise in a Cracker Jack box; an eye that would open and close printed on a little square card. I did the research, installed the needed programs to build the animations in my computer, and then developed a good relationship outside the studio for the actual printing. I acted as Nancy's computer jockey for the better part of a decade, logging hundreds of hours on the internet, gleaning material, and collaging hundreds of images into dozens of large format lenticular lens graphics. A whole new series of works were created for Kienholz using this technique. 

      Lenticular lens graphics have come a long way since the funny Cracker Jack surprises. They can accommodate up to 32 frames of animation, with a vivid color palate, high resolution, and reach sizes of 4 by 8 ft. per tile, and as I did with the Kienholz pieces can be tiled together to create even larger works up to billboard-size. A number of examples of finished works from these collaborations are included as a link to .gif animations with this proposal. A link will be provided to those images with my proposal image list. 

      Window Work pieces are lenticular lens graphic panels surrounded by window framing suggesting big skies as seen through tall windows. The Cloud Portals are round over-sized windows surrounded by fabrication suggesting travel on an imaginary vessel and a place to gaze out from. Both ideas incorporate the images appearing and disappearing in the blue skies and puffy clouds our young artists have imagined they might go and what they would find there. Many of the proposed locations for art in Terminal C would work very well with these two ideas. The Sky Bars are proposed for the expanse enclosed by the window wall at Terminal C, location three. This would be an arrangement of columns rising up from the floor of various heights and dimensions. These towers are still incorporating the images of the student’s ideas, blue skies, puffy clouds, but would also include lenticular surfaces dedicated to a purely aesthetic element of intermittent kinetic vertical rainbows. 

In 1976 Dan Allison was among a hand full of Texas artists receiving grants for large scale outdoor art projects with Mel Chin, James Surls, and John Alexander by the Houston Texas Main Street Art Fair and Houston's Museum of Fine Arts. A self destructing environment installed at Houston's Miller Theater, and based on the works of Jean Tinguely the Disposable Circus satirized the mindless overproduction of material goods in advanced industrial society. 100,000 sq. ft. of white corrugated cardboard and 2,000 cardboard domino blocks went into making the Disposable Circus project. The main contributor was Bubba Levey and his Houston Corrugated Box Company. Pictured below (4th image) are Some of the Sam Houston State University crew including artists Dan Allison and Jay Graves. More documentation soon!

the disposable circus MFAH suported project, Miller outdoor theater 1976 

Constructing the elements
In 1976 The Main Street Festival in conjunction with the Museum of Fine Arts Houston Sponsored 6 artists grants for large scale outdoor art projects
2000 cardboard domino blocks
These were the elements that actuated the triggers to set off events during the performance
The installation in progress
Pictured above at Houston's outdoor Miller Theater, and based on the works of Jean Tinguely the Disposable Circus satirized the mindless overproduction of material goods in advanced industrial society.
Putting it all together
After six weeks our art team from Sam Houston State University was finally on stage. Pictured here are artist Dan Allison and Jay Graves.
Dan Allison 1976 Miller Theater
Allison pencil drawing
"I created something to sell to fund the project"
Allison 3d collage
This work depicted the events of the opening day, the stormy weather, and the 24 cardboard towers with the freeway ramps and domino blocks
The Disposable Circus team shirt
Allison in the warehouse 1976
More than 100,000 sq. ft. of went into the Disposable Circus project. The main contributor was Bubba Levey and is Houston Corrugated Box Company
Paint Tosser
The towers were made up of individual elements, some threw paint (pictured here) some shook violently, some threw colored paper streamers. Jean Tinguely would have been proud.
Paper Streamer Tosser
Like the Paint Tosser the elements would be "loaded" before going on stage for the performance.
The Aftermath
Much of the initial documentation for this first performance has been lost. This is what it looked like the next morning .... more documentation coming soon!
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