Dan Covert’s graphic painting practice features organic-yet-geometric shapes that shift and develop from work to work. As he’s scaled up his practice over the years from works on paper to two site-specific murals, he shares his thoughts on how his process has been refined, how painstaking painting can still be, and the importance of craftsmanship.
“I prefer a slow evolution, rather than constant seismic shifts in my work. I've been developing and evolving the same language of shapes for seven or eight years. If you were to look at my work in the beginning till now you'd see a big difference, but if you were to look at my work from six months ago till now the progression would be incremental. ”
“Working within a defined language of forms, rather than trying to reinvent the wheel each time, lets me push myself to evolve in different ways. I constantly am trying to hone my craft, to make my lines even cleaner, to hide my hand as much as possible, to be able to do it faster, to explore new materials, to invent new shapes, new structures, to operate at different scales.”
“When I paint on paper or canvas I never use masks, because I like how absurd it is to craft something painstakingly that I could easily have done in a few minutes using masks. That level of craftsmanship is important to me, that my hand is in it, that it has humanity, that you can see little imperfections here of there if you look hard enough.”
“As my work has gotten larger and I've had the opportunity to do some murals, I had to learn to let myself mask the straight lines using tape and to use assistants. I tried in the beginning not to, but it was too insane! At least I can take pride that all the curved shapes are still done without masks in my murals.”