An interview with Dana Ellyn on Artistic Activism. Hear her transition from suburban wife to full-time artist, advice to aspiring artists, peek into her exhibit Speciesism, and learn the art history-inspired story behind my new pig painting.
Dana Ellyn is a DC resident and full-time painter who lives and paints in her studio in a subsidized artist housing unit in downtown Washington DC. Ellyn committed herself to full-time status in 2002 when she decided to leave her corporate job and pursue painting. Her work is exemplified by a risk-taking vision, strong content, and colorful critiques of social norms.
Ellyn's style sits on the fence between social realism and expressionism. Having spent her childhood and college years honing her skills and striving to be technically correct, during the past 12 years she has tasked herself with unlearning those restrictive habits. Ellyn strives to infuse more emotion and meaning in to each new painting she creates.
Ellyn's paintings have stories to tell and opinions to profess. She delivers hard slaps to myths of all kinds - from religion, to politics to what it means to be a woman. Ellyn's goal is to employ humor when holding a subject up to her artistic scrutiny. But, humor is as subjective as art and Ellyn's brand of humor has tended to be a polarizing factor in her art. Love it or hate it, she definitely starts a dialogue.
From childhood until about the age of 30, Ellyn was quiet and reserved. She has now found her voice and she is making up for lost time.