Dana Kotler was born in Odessa, Ukraine, and grew up in Israel, after which she has relocated to New York with her family. She has received her MFA from the New York Academy of Art. Dana instructs a summer study abroad course in Dingle, Ireland, and has taught courses in Boston, MA. Dana has displayed her work in a number of group and solo exhibitions, and is a recipient of the Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation Grant, among others. Currently, she is working out of her studio in San Diego, CA.

Artist Statement

My work is autobiographical and consists of a series of events, that build upon each other to result in a physical object that possesses its own logic and unity. Each event is a decision, an occurrence, an accident, or a discovery. The gradual assembly of my pieces provides me with mental and physical space to tangibilize my ununderstanding of why the universe is the way it does. The work is always a surprise to me, and rather than being a side effect of questioning, it is a companion in the conversation. Even if we arrive at no conclusion, the manifestation of the discussion remains and persists its whispering after I separate myself from it.

I am interested in how inanimate matter combines to become a living thing, and I am addicted to playing creator. The objects and surfaces in my work amass into anthropomorphic creatures, some more literal than others, and the spaces they exist within. The process of creation is a ritual, hence the different paces and states of mind that the different textures, materials and subjects necessitate, are very important for me.

The multiplanar and imaginary space of paintings allow me to think of it as “installations” without the worry of spatial logic and physical laws, placing all of those to the service of tackling and asking questions. Sculpture is quite a different animal, since it bulges itself out entirely into my own world. I make it so that it will be a companion to me.