Daniel Pollera was inducted in the Dan’s Best of the Best Hall of Fame for 2018 for his exemplary work, which explores the natural beauty of Long Island to crisp, stunning and—as you’ll see on our special Dan’s Taste of Summer section cover in the July 19, 2019 issue of Dan’s Papers—delicious effect.
What was the inspiration for this particular piece?
With food being the primary subject, I figured I would paint what I catch. Although I do not go shrimping.
You went to SUNY Farmingdale to study commercial art. Talk a little about that.
I studied commercial art because to make a living as an artist it was the only art field that was practical. I never finished at Farmingdale, because going on an interview at an ad agency, I was discouraged by the art director from working in the field.
Talk about tranquility in your work.
For me, tranquility is intuitive. I don’t think about, it just evolves during the creative process.
What was it like studying with Everett Molinari?
Later on in my life, I was taking a painting class at Nassau Community College, where Everett Molinari was my teacher. I remember him pulling me out of the classroom and telling me in private, “You should get serious with painting, because you understand the paint.” I looked at him with a clueless expression—I had no idea what he was talking about. Only later on I realized what he meant. We became friends and he invited me to a meeting with the National Mural Society at the Salmagundi Club. At the time, he was president. I then introduced him to a high school art teacher I had. She was painting a 14’x30’ historical mural for the Roslyn Bank. I thought they would connect, and they did. She then hired me to help her paint and hang the mural.
Lately, what’s been inspiring your work?
My inspiration always comes from water, ocean or bays.
What are your favorite East End summer spots?
My favorite East End spot has to be in East Quogue, where I have a second home. I trailer my 17-foot Whaler out there and stay weeks at a time, fishing Shinnecock Bay with my wife. I also sent up a second studio there and paint as well.
For more on Daniel Pollera, visit danielpollera.com.