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Daniel Sroka
Morristown, NJ

Artwork Details
Spectrum (leaf)
30" x 24"

My photographs are about experiencing and engaging with nature, instead of simply observing it. "Nature" is such an abstract concept it can be hard to grasp on a personal level. We can often feel isolated from it, as if merely observers. But when I take an individual leaf and hold it in my hand, nature becomes tangible and real. No longer separate, I become aware of our connection and relationship. I create my art to experience the natural world on this personal and more human scale; and to illustrate that we are not outside of nature, but an intimate part of it.

Photography and computers have part of my life since I was young. I grew up with cameras around the house, and my childhood desk was an old enlarger my father had made. I spent many days working in our basement darkroom, listening to the floorboard creak overhead. When I was 12, I earned my first computer by scraping a hundred years of paint off my uncle's house. I wanted to use it to make art, but this was the late 70s, so if you wanted a program you had to write it yourself. Since no one told me how hard that would be, I taught myself to code, and created my own painting software. I've been making art with computers ever since.

My talent with art and computers helped me pay my way through college, and lead me to my first career as a graphic designer. I started at a mom-and-pop print shop and worked my way up from job to job. I eventually became the original creative director for Yahoo!, where I helped transform them from a quirky curiosity into a globally-recognized brand. But I grew tired of working to help other people achieve their dreams, while ignoring my own. So after a lot of thought, I quit my corporate career, and turned my attention back towards my original love -- photography. I have now spent over a decade carefully developing my unique and intensely personal style of nature art. I have been able to use my years of experience in design, coding and marketing to launch my art career, as well as run a successful internet business inspired by my art.

I create abstract, dream-like images out of the simple and overlooked parts of nature. Whenever I take a walk through the streets and parks around my suburban home, I habitually collect the "scraps" of nature I find in my path - the leaves, sticks, flowers, or seeds that have broken and fallen to the ground. Back in my studio, I carefully explore these objects with my camera, letting their unique textures and patterns guide my hand,much like a sculptor working with stone. My photographs reveal the character, complexity, and subtlety buried deep within in these forgotten fragments of nature.

Daniel was selected to be in a group show at the Zufall Health Center (Dover, NJ) from May through October.