Daniel Mazzone was born and raised in Toronto, Canada. As part of an artistic family, he was surrounded by a world of visual concepts and expression. His mother was an art instructor, and Mazzone became particularly interested in the composition and production of stained glass at a young age. During his school days, teachers and fellow students alike saw his inherent artistic ability and potential. The youthful exploration of his artistic talents were pushed aside when he became homeless at the age of 15. Once Mazzone got back on his feet a few years later, he pushed himself to explore his true passions again.
All his inspirations flooded back after watching an art documentary film and was invigorated to create art purely for the joy of it, reminiscent of his childhood. A friend was so impressed by Daniel’s first piece he begged to display it in his Toronto restaurant. Mazzone agreed, with the stipulation that his first artwork would not be available for sale. But his work spoke for itself and Mazzone received a call – it was just purchased for $14,000. He was initially in utter disbelief that someone could love and value his art enough to pay for it. His dreams of being recognized as a true artist were unfolding before his eyes. It was from this point where he understood that success could be achieved with passion, persistence and dedication.
In 2013, Mazzone began exhibiting at both the Canadian Heritage Art Company and at Hazelton Fine Art Gallery for the next two years. It was not until the Toronto International Art Fair in late 2014 where his artwork really caught the attention of famed Canadian billionaire and hedge fund titan, Michael Wekerle, where he purchased eight pieces instantly. Wekerle was so enamored with Mazzone's art that he purchased more works in addition right after the show. Another highlight from this show was when Mazzone sold a piece to the renowned Tanenbaum family, whom are part of the top 200 art collectors in the world.
Since then, Mazzone has been making waves nonstop across North America. In May 2015, he did his first show, “Torn Apart”, in New York City at the Carriage House Arts Center and in December made his official Art Basel Miami debut at 1 Hotel South Beach, “A Walk Through Life”, selling out his entire collection of 25 pieces at the show. Some notable buyers from this show were François-Henry Bennahmias, Randy Frankel and José Bautista, where Bautista purchased 5 pieces on opening night and has since commissioned a number of works from Mazzone.
Mazzone continues his journey of creative exploration and pushing the envelope with his unique style as he prepares his much anticipated return to Art Basel Miami Beach for his sophomore show this December 2016.
Thoughts from the Artist
"What I love most about my artwork and art in general is that there are so many ways to see it, from the very simple to the very complex. When I started working with stained glass as a child with my mother, I enjoyed the process of piecing things together, as if I were creating a unique puzzle that only I could unveil but that the world could dissect in an infinite number of ways. My objective is to give a different perspective on how we perceive things in life – to provide a new lens through which we can view the intricacies of life – and learn to slow down and appreciate the little things.
That is truly what my art is about, the little things, both in the literal and figurative sense. My work is physically comprised of little fragments of my subject’s visual history - where I source historical artifacts such as letters, magazine covers, newspaper articles, song lyrics – and assemble and abstract these original components so that they integrate simultaneously into the new body of work. It creates a portrait which not only portrays the subject’s likeness, but also who they were/are as a person. I enjoy gradually building it all together, like a sculptor in a way, to find their final portrait. What we’re left with then is a likeness of the subject that doesn’t mask the little pieces for the whole, but celebrates those pieces as important building blocks for what makes up a person. Because of these pieces of history, I believe my pieces have soul. I’m able to take a subject, old or new, familiar or unfamiliar, and breathe new life into it. And some of this breath is my own. I delve so deeply into the research and put so much effort into each piece that I inevitably bond with the work. This just adds one more perspective though; it adds one more layer to the story.
Choosing mosaics to convey multiple layers and complexities of a subject made sense to me. I have been fascinated by the act of assembling thousands of individual tiny pieces to create a whole new form since I was a child. I work freehand to carve shapes and pieces on all different types of paper materials. Paint is never used at all. Everything is hand cut to fit together the pieces like a puzzle. Building the story, I carefully layer all the images so that they read together as a cohesive whole. The intricate details and attention I display in my art is also there to compel my viewer to stop, focus, and take a closer look. Because sometimes we focus too much on what we don’t have that we fail to see and appreciate the things we already have."