Danny Hoskinson

 

        Danny Hoskinson has a way with a blowtorch. Whether stripping paint from a building before applying a fresh coat or supplying plastic buckets with personality, Hoskinson sparks the flame and goes to it.

        Affectionately called the barefoot painter by many in his community, Danny has an eye for evocative expressions. The five-gallon paint buckets, which he melds into characters from his imagination's eye with his torch and then paints into haunting personages, hold all the eccentricities of those who have lived life to it's fullest and seemingly not regretted a moment of the not-so-easy going.

        Hoskinson first dreamed of becoming an artist at age six. The youngest of four children, Danny was taken by his father, step-mother and five step-brothers and sisters to California when he was seven years old. He didn't care for this new life in California and longed to return to the South. After attending three different schools in the ninth-grade, Hoskinson decided to drop out after he was asked to repeat the school year. When his father died in 1972, Danny went on the road, thumbing back and forth between the Southeast and California, Texas and Florida for extended periods of time, readily admitting that he still considers himself an explorer.

        Hoskinson loves to see people enjoying his art, which came into being one Fourth of July when he took the flame of his bic lighter ("flicked his bic") to some plastic picnic utensils. He takes his creativity quite seriously and was heartbroken when American plastic utensil manufacturers changed the formula for the forks, knives and spoons he had been using to make art, making the plastic pieces ineffective for sculpture. Once the plastic utensils were no longer adequate, Danny turned to recycling his plastic paint buckets into figures and masks, exploring ideas and creating images of ordinary people around him. He also gathers found objects in his travels in order to create fantastic thematic assemblages out of what he, himself, calls "junky stuff." But the lion's share of his creativity is poured into the pales he so skillfully infuses with character. "I'm so happy now using five gallon buckets," he says.

        Danny feels that he has found his niche with his haunting yet, at times, whimsical work. It seems apparent that this torch art keeps him always growing as he passionately explores the path of his own unique creativity.