We had the good fortune of connecting with Remi Dalton and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Remi, do you have a favorite quote or affirmation?
“Certainty sees things in restrictive, protective, aggressive ways, and thus isn’t seeing at all.” This quote is by Jerry Saltz, an art critic for New York Magazine. Cultivating curiosity rather than certainty is paramount to my painting practice and my career as a whole. As an artist, you must be curious about your subject matter, ready to be awed by what you might find. Deciding you know the answer to your painting before you begin is a great way to kill a work. Even being too certain of your technique can be dangerous as it leaves no room for progression. There is no certain career path for artists. Yet, it is common to feel anxiety about completing certain traditional career milestones, whether it be solo shows or sales. I try to keep Saltz’s quote in mind when building my practice as it helps me remain open to new business opportunities. For example, last year, I began a YouTube channel to exhibit paintings. At first, the concept appeared flawed because seeing the physical paintings in person is vital for a viewer. However, upon beginning, I found the format very liberating and inspiring. The video format helped me expand my practice in ways that felt authentic yet were unforeseen. Therefore, I, like Saltz, urge artists and business owners to harbor curiosity instead of certainty.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I am a painter, youtuber and educator. My paintings hijack historical techniques and attempt to relay an authentic experience of contemporary femininity. By “authentic contemporary femininity” I mean work that is as equally admiring and confused by Britney Spears as I am. My most recent exhibition, “Dream House” depicts the refuge of a contemporary romantic hero who isolates themselves in a space halfway between the digital and physical world. This body of work explores issues of freedom and surveillance, isolation and connection, and vulnerability and safety. “Dream House’ includes a series of oil paintings and a Youtube series entitled “Painting for Pleasure.” “Painting for Pleasure” documents the conception and execution of the paintings and exhibits complementary video art pieces.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Whenever anybody visits San Diego, I usually take them to get coffee at Azucar in Ocean Beach and then take them for a walk along the beautiful Sunset Cliffs. Liberty Station is another great spot for lunch at the Public Market and to check out the great galleries and studios in the Arts District. Veltz Gallery in Liberty Station is not to be missed! I would also recommend walking around North Park to check out Art Produce Gallery and Little Dame shop and gallery. Finally, no visit would be complete without visiting San Diego Art Institute, the Timken and San Diego Museum of Art in Balboa Park.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I would like to dedicate my shoutout to the NTC Foundation. For the past 18 months the NTC Foundation has provided me with a free studio space in the Arts District in Liberty Station as part of their emerging artist residency program. This residency provided me with the invaluable opportunity to stay connected with San Diego artists and produce large-scale work after graduating from San Diego State’s M.F.A. program. I believe that this program is extremely important to have in our community as it allows emerging artists to have a platform and contribute to the community they love.
Other: I included the link to my YouTube channel above, but the channel name is “remidalton” if that is helpful.
Headshot was taken by Cara Brown. Rest of the images were taken by myself.