New York based artist Daniel Arsham’s multidisciplinary practice challenges the line between art, architecture and performance. Raised in Miami, Arsham attended the Cooper Union in New York City where he received the Gelman Trust Fellowship Award in 2003.
Soon thereafter he was invited to create stage design and tour with legendary choreographer Merce Cunningham’s Dance Company leading to ongoing stage design practice and a sustained collaboration with choreographer and former Cunningham dancer, Jonah Boaker.
Arsham founded Snarkitecture with partner Alex Mustonen in 2007. The architecture collaboration has included work with fashion brands, interior and architectural design, and a complete line of functional design objects.
In 2014 Arsham’s, Films of the Future was born. This production company synthesizes all of Arsham’s creative output over the last decade and creates a visual setting in which his otherworldly and futuristic artwork might exist.
Arsham’s work has been shown at PS1 in New York, The Museum of Contemporary Art in Miami, The Athens Bienniale in Athens, Greece, The New Museum In New York, Mills College Art Museum in Oakland, Cincinnati CAC, SCAD Museum of Art in Savannah GA, California and Carré d’Art de Nîmes, France among others.
Arsham is represented by Galerie Perrotin in Paris, Hong Kong, New York, Seoul, and Tokyo, Moran Bondaroff (formerly OHWOW) in Los Angeles, Baró Galeria in São Paulo, and Pippy Houldsworth Gallery in London, and Ron Mandos in Amsterdam. .
His latest series, Future Relic, is two years in the making and consists of nine short films that depict a future civilization before and after Earth undergoes major ecological changes. The series also includes sculptures of petrified twentieth-century media artifacts constructed to look like artifacts decaying from obsolescence.
In 2006, legendary modern dance choreographer Merce Cunningham asked Arsham to design the set, lighting and costumes for his piece, "eyeSpace." The performance premiered in 2007 at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Miami. Arsham, the youngest artist invited to work with the company, was also the last artist to collaborate with Cunningham before the choreographer's death in 2009. The two worked on a series of performances as part of the Festival National de Danse de Val-de-Marne. For these performances, Cunningham asked Arsham to recreate the in situ style of set design originally explored by Merce and Robert Rauschenberg.
In 2005, Arsham was commissioned by legendary fashion designer Hedi Slimane to design the fitting rooms for Dior Homme's Los Angeles shop. Slimane's only limitations were that the rooms have "a hook, a seat and a mirror." Arsham's design incorporates his signature plaster erosions: the white fitting room walls seem to melt onto the bench, the mirror appears to have been excavated from the wall.
In 2007, Jonah Bokaer performed choreography inspired by Arsham's work at Galerie Emmanuel Perrotin in Paris. Jonah Bokaer, previously a dancer for the Merce Cunningham Dance Company, is a media-artist and choreographer. Bokaer and Arsham are currently collaborating on "REPLICA," a piece that incorporates built space, objects, and lighting in an exploration of memory loss, pattern recognition, and perceptual faculties. The performance had its world premier at IVAM in Valencia, Spain as part of Robert Wilson (director) exhibition "Frontiers." "REPLICA" is currently on tour and has been performed at The New Museum in New York City and Harman Center for the Arts in Washington, DC.Their new collaboration "Why Patterns" combines Arsham's architectural practice Snarkitecture with his performance work with Bokaer. "Why Patterns" had its world premier at Rotterdamse Schouwburg in Rotterdam, Netherlands on February 2010. The dance's US premiere will take place at Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival in Massachusetts in August 2011.
Snarkitecture is a collaborative practice established by Arsham and architect Alex Mustonen in 2008. Rather than make architecture, the interest of Snarkitecture lies in the exploration of existing materials within a space and how they might be manipulated to serve a new and imaginative purpose. The firm makes architecture do things it is not intended to do. In collaboration with Arsham, the practice has been commissioned for two public art projects at the new Marlins Park.Daniel Arsham/Snarkitecture were selected as one of three artists to contribute artwork to the new baseball stadium located on the site of the Orange Bowl near downtown Miami, scheduled to open in 2012. Their project for the illumination of the four super columns supporting the retractable roof gives the illusion of the columns being concealed and revealed through as light fades up and down the columns. A second project for a marker to commemorate the site of the former Orange Bowl reimagines the letters from the former Orange Bowl sign as 10 foot concrete letters dispersed in various positions through the east plaza of the new ballpark. The letters are arranged so that they appear to spell different words as visitors move through the plaza.The pair are currently at work on "Dig," an architectural intervention at Storefront for Art and Architecture in New York. As an investigation of the "architecture of excavation," Storefront's gallery space was infilled with a solid volume of EPS architectural foam that was then excavated by hand using hand tools to create "a cavernous space for work and play." The installation is open to public view through April 23, 2011. Snarkitecture also designed the A+ Award for the online publication Architizer.