Daniel Pollera always has a singular goal in mind when he sets about painting one of his works: “I strive to create a sense of peace and tranquility that will lure the viewer into the painting.” There are few places that can lure in Pollera himself like the waters surrounding us here on Long Island. That fact has been displayed in his many Dan’s Papers covers over the years, including this special Labor Day weekend edition.
The water, using it as a subject or being on it in your boat, is incredibly important to you.
This passion I have for the water has to be genetic. I was adopted from a foster home at nine months old. The parents that raised me were very loving but didn’t know, or weren’t interested in, boats or the water. I just took to it, and recently found out about my biological dad, that he was an avid boater and fisherman. I guess genes play an important role in our identity.
What was the inspiration for the piece on this week’s cover?
The inspiration for this painting came after visiting this beach on the bay not far from Shinnecock Inlet. It’s probably the only one I know of in that area. It’s calm and shallow, which is great for young children.
You have a home in East Quogue. What do you love about it?
Our second home, in East Quogue, is only one hour from our other house in Baldwin. I love the diversity both have to offer. East Quogue has plenty of property and is close to the boat ramp and ocean beach. I love the fact that it’s easy to maintain and has just enough room to be comfortable.
How has growing up in a coastal town shaped your view of the world?
Growing up around the water has given me insight to the changes that have occurred over the years. Knowing that there are many coastal towns around the world gives me a better understanding of their own changes and what they have to deal with, living on the water.
Tell us about the experience of being at the helm of a boat, having gotten your captain’s license in 1977.
The love of fishing and boating had an alluring effect on me to obtain a captain’s license. I think at the time I wanted to make a living out of what I enjoyed. I later found out it was no easy task and did it as a means to maintain my boat. It was an interesting venture, meeting some really nice people. The charters were sometimes really crazy. I remember taking a charter out once on an offshore tuna trip. The people arrived and a girl who was with them had high heels on and a skirt. I thought she was there to see her boyfriend going on the trip. Within a couple of minutes I found out she was coming with us! It was a pretty rough forecast and I said, “Are you sure you want to come?” She said, “Why surely.” She did go with us, but I didn’t remember seeing her come out of the cabin the whole day.
See more of Daniel Pollera’s work at sorellegallery.com and williamris.com.