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Ollo Restaurant showcases Schweitzer’s bold, colorful works
The compelling and intriguing oil and acrylic works of Malibu artist Daniela Schweitzer are on exhibit at Summer Fresh, a solo by-the-water themed exhibition at Ollo Restaurant and gallery through Sept. 18.
This exhibit is well worth seeing. As one enters the restaurant, Schweitzer’s large pieces beckon viewers to enjoy the installation’s simple, aesthetic works that excite and delight with their popping color, crystalized clarity and engaging subjects.
“Everything in my life has given me inspiration for my painting,” Schweitzer told Malibu Surfside News. “I am an abstract painter who paints both abstract figurative and non-representational abstracts.
“I am very attracted to paint narratives by the water. I think it reminds me of my childhood summer vacations in Argentina and the place I currently live, here in beautiful Malibu.”
Schweitzer, who is both a cutting-edge pediatric geneticist physician and an eclectic local artist, primarily paints figurative and non-representational abstractions, often capturing her subjects in their daily interactions as they enjoy simple experiences that may go unnoticed by others.
“In my figurative work, a subject or theme is chosen from the beginning, but many times an invented surrounding or an ideal world transports me to a desirable language that I express through my painting,” Schweitzer said. “I have always been an avid observer, explorer, and curious person and I learned anatomy at an early age during my art training, which was one of the factors that led me to also pursue a career in medicine.”
Often, she can be found snapping photographs of random events and scenes. Those photos often launch a new work. Schweitzer does not draw on a canvas before painting, instead referring to her photos.
“The play between color, light, contrast and gestures is my biggest inspiration in choosing a story to paint,” Schweitzer said. “Although I paint from life or my photographs, often the images take a different and surprising route as my first brushstrokes touch the canvas. The excitement of not knowing how each painting will evolve is my favorite part of the process.”
An artist who loves to travel, Schweitzer is motivated by the energy, vibrancy and colors of her native Argentina and South America. In her paintings, she shares the internal stirrings that those lands, people and culture have cultivated in her and then blends those impressions with her experiences here in Malibu.
“My current figurative abstractions don’t emphasize classical figure or portrait making, but rather reflect the appreciation for human existence and the internal feelings of the people around me,” Schweitzer explained.
Although she was classically trained in a traditional atelier in Argentina, Schweitzer’s art is inspired by the influences of many contemporary, national and international artistic movements. Her favorite artist is Richard Diebenkorn, an icon of the Bay Area Figurative Movement, a school of artists who segued from traditional abstract expressionism and championed figurative painting.
Ollo exhibit curator Joseph McDougall said he rotates installations at the restaurant’s gallery in order to feature local artists and to highlight their artistic contributions.
“I’ve been so lucky with the choices and availability of so many genres of art and artists here in Malibu,” McDougall said. “Daniela’s work is unique to me in so many ways. Some of her choices in subject and palette of colors takes me back to when I was a kid in the ’60s. And then, I’ll see one of her figurative works and it’s as fresh and contemporary as any work out there today.
“Her palette, color schemes and earthy tones really pop when they are hanging on the sky-blue walls of the restaurant. Her seascapes and figuratives bring an energy and light to the atmosphere that just feels good to me. And her more classic settings, whether they be lifeguard stands or boats moored at a dock, are just as fresh. Both young and old have complimented her work.”
Schweitzer is a highly acclaimed abstract artist, most recently being part of a juried group contemporary art exhibition, FRESH 2017, through South Bay Contemporary. That exhibit included mostly non-representational abstracts.
“I was honored to have my piece ‘Life in Tents’ ... selected by jurors Peter Frank and Fatemeh Burnes, not only for the show itself, but also because I was given a special award,” she said. “I was one out of three visual artists chosen for an invitational show in the spring.”
Schweitzer’s talent for depicting people, landscape and movement in clear, crisp shapes sets her works apart from other artists.
“It is in my nonrepresentational abstracts where many intricate layers of paint history, mood and forms take me to a place of wonder or peace,” she said. “I let my imagination wander playfully and try to interlace fluctuating or complementary emotions. Many of these abstracts represent a feeling of connection between lands and moments in time and all the bridges of humanity. I love painting simultaneously series of figurative as well as non-representational abstracts.”
While excelling at painting her unique, compelling pieces, Schweitzer also practices medicine. In addition to working as a clinical geneticist at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles’ Craniofacial Clinic since 2004, recently, she was appointed Craniofacial Genetics Director of UCLA’s Craniofacial Clinic.
“In my works, I try to avoid faces because, as a clinical geneticist, not only do I see so many facial variations in my medical practice, but because the gestural part of my art resides more in the core of emotions and feelings toward the subject,” Schweitzer said. “My current figurative abstractions don’t emphasize classical figure or portrait making, but rather reflect the appreciation for human existence and the internal feelings of the people around me.
“I tend to find a restful balance in the simple, everyday happenings and happy places that many times transport me back to a less hectic lifestyle.”
Malibu is all about good vibes and restful contemplation, about appreciating nature, and the accomplishments, dreams and aspirations of the multi-faceted people who call this idyllic place home. Luckily, Schweitzer is here to capture and spread appreciation for it all.
For more information about Schweitzer and her art, visit www.danielaschweitzerfineart.com or call (310) 383-0389.