Published on July 29th, 2020 | by Landon Buford


Sir Daniel Winn — a Look at Art and Fashion

Photo credit: Ray Kachatorian

Sir Daniel K. Winn is an internationally recognized blue-chip artist, fine-art curator, awarded entrepreneur, and highly respected philanthropist. In recognition of his direct support to humanitarian causes, having directly assisted in raising over two million dollars for non-profit aid in the United States and Asia, Winn was honored the prestigious title of “Sir” when knighted in 2018 under the Princely House of Shaumburg-Lippe-Nachod – one of only five recipients of the title in the history of the royal family. Among many other distinctions, he is the Board Chairman of The Academy of Fine Art Foundation, CEO and curator of Masterpiece Publishing, Inc., and Founder of Winn Slavin Fine Art, one of the most prestigious art galleries in Beverly Hills. We caught up with Sir Daniel to discuss two subjects with which he is very familiar: art and fashion.

Can you tell us about your artistic style?

My art is coined “Existential Surrealism.” It’s a combination of realism, but it has the edge of surrealism in there too. Imagine looking at Leonardo da Vinci and combining that with Salvador Dali and Picasso. That’s what my artistic style is, with a touch of, maybe, Pollock’s abstract. I’ve fused my very classically trained painting style with the more modern Pollock emotions, but also the surrealism of Dali. So my art is very unique in the sense that I don’t see anyone that does what I do. It’s a fusion of styles.

How does your art influence your fashion?

It influences it in the same way, because my fashion style is a fusion too. And I think it’s like any other fusions of cultures or styles. It’s a fusion of old world with modern masters. Same thing when you fuse food, East with West. Eastern food with Western food just gives you the right combination. But you’ve got to be very careful because it’s a hit-or-miss situation. If you hit it, it is right on; but if you miss it, it’s way off. The same thing with my clothes. I have to be very aware of how I fuse the style of certain designers that are a little bit more sophisticated or conservative, but still bring in the more edgier, louder, or over-the-top designers. You’ve got to do it just right so that when you wear it — if you get the perfect combination — it hits it right on, it feels good, it looks good, and it’s photogenic. But if you don’t hit it right, you could be on the worst-dressed list.

I do see the mixture of the two in your fashion. A sophisticated conservatism but with an edginess added in.

That’s true. I could be wearing a beautiful jacket by Armani, but with a pair of Dsquared2 pants, and I wear King Baby bling, Yurman bracelets, and Vuitton boots. If you hit it right, you can make it loud and quiet. And if you have that right combinations it’s like the perfect sweet and sour. Perfect combination. If it’s too sweet, it’s too sweet. And if it’s too sour, it’s too sour. But if you have the right combination, it’s perfect.

I see a theme in a lot of your work with masks and face coverings. Can you tell us a little about that?

Symbolically, my masks and face masks represent more of a facade of our existence in this world. Because we are born into this world for, let’s say, for a century, and then we’re gone — but it’s the blink of an eye, a speck on the spectrum of the universe in terms of time. So to me the masks represent a masquerade, a facade of who we are. Who we really are is pure energy. And when we leave this world, the mask is gone and our energy is the very soul and the existence of who we are. And how that translates over to fashion is very unique. In a sense, the fashion — the clothes we wear every season — is like a facade too. When it’s gone, it’s the memory of that time we wore them that will linger on and be remembered. Not necessarily that the clothes will last forever, but the memory of that iconic look will last forever. So in a way my art, since you asked about the mask, the same thing applies to art and fashion. What we wear is a facade. It makes you feel good and then the memory will always linger on even if the clothes do not last. That’s the mask.

So the mask is almost like the body, whereas the person is sort of the soul, is that what you’re saying?

That’s exactly right. It’s like we’re used to our organic flesh as being our vessel. But that is not really who we are either. So what I wanted to do was to put a mask on to represent that fact that it is very similar to our organic vessel. But it is only a vessel, a façade, of who we are. It’s not who we really are. Who we really are, ultimately, is immortal energy.

And what about the horn theme we see in your art?

The horn is the part of the mask that represents immortality. It lives forever. Again, that’s what our energy is. Our energy will never cease to exist. Even in the laws of physics, energy can never be created or destroyed. Same thing with who we are. We are the immortality of the energy, and that’s what my paintings are about when I use the horns. Now fashion is the same thing. Fashion designers like Lagerfeld or Chanel, they live forever. I mean those are iconic figures who are immortal. And that is the same thing as fashion and my art; they are going to be immortalized as iconic figures of our time. They will never cease to exist, which is the same thing as who we are. Our physical, organic body in this world will last for a century at most, and then when we leave this world it’s our energy that will be immortalized, which is the “forever” represented by the horns.

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Washington State Graduate Past Interviews include Grammy Award Winner Kenny G, David Banner, WNBA President Lisa Borders, What's Trending's CEO Shira Lazar, Ice Cube, NBC's Chicago PD LaRoyce Hawkins, Family Matters Darius McCrary, En Vogues Maxine Jones, Team USA Track & Field Member Norris Frederick, James Kyson, WNBA Great Lauren Jackson, and more.

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