Starting at the age of 15 in 1995, Danno has been using his image to experiment and express both his personal evolution and his politics. Never afraid to create culture defying images ranging from the beautiful to the grotesque, he has challenged the very notion of sexuality, gender, and radical self-acceptance long before such discussions were mainstream. His work is at once jarringly vulnerable and yet emotionally robust. Power and delicacy are constantly at play in a simmering tension over the ultimate question of what it means to be a man. Bravely portraying himself in ways that challenge societal norms of expression, Danno audaciously puts his very identity at the core of his work, subjecting himself to both ridicule and praise with unwavering boldness.
Fine Art & Fibre Works
In 1993 at the age of 13, Danno founded his first fibre arts company, The DO Doll Company. That was the same year he won his first award, second place in the adult drawing category of the Annapolis Valley Exhibition, and sold his first piece. In the decades since, Danno has created thoughtful and complex works that have been compared to the likes of William Blake and Andy Warhol. Always exploring new techniques, Danno's exhibitions usually include a plethora of styles and mediums - everything from photography, painting and sketches to dolls, fibre/textile sculpture, performances and installations. His pieces can be found in prominent private and public collections worldwide garnering him an avid base of fans. As much as the media often loves his work, the detractors are equally vocal, thus making Danno an artist they cannot stop talking about.
Danno has created illustrations for books and multi-media using a variety of techniques from simplistic childlike drawings of adult subject matter to finely detailed etching-like ink works. His styles, although varied, are instantly recognizable and have been reproduced on countless products in the classic style of his Pop Art contemporaries. During the Covid Pandemic, Danno's work went viral on TikTok producing millions of hits for his "Local Gossip" series, a collection of comics drawn to illustrate his often salacious stories. There is currently a collection of these works being compiled as a lush limited edition coffee table book and traveling exposition.
In 2015, Danno founded Guillotine (now Guillotine Fibre Arts & Restoration) and invented their now iconic sculpted bow tie. The "Guillotine Bow," individually sculpted in fine polymer and finished in silk, with fashion editorials photographed by Danno himself sparked worldwide sales, fine art exhibitions, fashion shows, and won him the Phénicia Award for Innovation in 2016. In 2019, he was asked to come back to design and individually create a collection of special Phénicia Medallions to be awarded to prominent Canadians, including the late Pierre Eliot Trudeau (posthumously accepted by his son and then Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau). Since then, Danno's fibre arts have been in high demand and continue to be worn and collected by the most discerning patrons. Always passionate about the environment and usable art, he began the Canadian Doll Recycling Program in 2021 as a subsidiary of Guillotine, a program which works to restore and save plastic, composite, porcelain and other dolls from landfills. He still lends his expertise to the project and often works hands-on to restore the most precious of pieces for museums and personal collections.