Daniel Adel is an illustrator, portrait and gallery artist. He has done editorial illustration for clients like The New Yorker, The New York Times, Vanity Fair, Forbes and Esquire, as well as cover art for those publications and others like Newsweek and Time, including the Time Man of the Year cover in 2004.
His illustrations are often whimsical portraits of celebrities and newsmakers, rendered with a confident realism, and anthropomorphic animals that look like they might be suitable for somewhat dark children’s book illustration.
After looking at his illustrations, you might expect his gallery work to be straightforwardly figurative, or at most, stylized figurative work, but the paintings are intentionally narrow in subject matter and follow a fascinating theme of light and dark.
They are dramatically staged draperies, arranged to look as though they were in motion, along with arrangements of crumpled paper, theatrically lit as if large in scale and, recently, paintings of white fluids in dynamic cascades and waves, as though roiled by violent motion. These paintings have a common theme of twisting and turning movement, intricate folds, and a consistent arrangement of white foreground subject set against a dark background.
Adel and his wife divide their time between New York and the village of Lacoste in Provence, France, where Adel established a gallery and studio and from which he publishes a local arts journal, “L’Os de Figue” (The Figbone). There is section of his site devoted The Figbone, from which you can download a PDF copy.
The “Art” section of his site links to the Arcadia site for his oils, but also includes photographs and straightforward watercolors of buildings and countryside in Provence.
My thanks to two different sources who suggested a post on Adel within a week of one another. One is David Malan, who responded to my post about him with a suggestion to check out Adel’s site. The other is Michael Connors, who coded Adel’s website and created and maintains morgueFile, a free image reference site. (Comic book artists and illustrators, myself included, would often maintain “morgue files”, folders of photos clipped from magazines for visual reference. The web now provides a much easier alternative.)