As soon as he could hold a pencil, Dan Rose started drawing pictures and making art. Subjected to austere family rituals, he was kept from American popular culture until he broke away in his late teens. Against the odds, he used the arts of drawing, design, painting, sculpture, and poetry to begin his youthful exploration of a largely unknown cultural world.
After leaving the Midwestern U.S. where he was born and grew up, he ventured onto the streets of Philadelphia for two years which culminated in a book, Black American Street Life, for which he was offered a film and television contract. With a doctorate in anthropology and his interest in the arts Dan stayed in the city and taught at the University of Pennsylvania in the Graduate School of Design as well as at Temple University and University of the Arts. He also taught and lectured as a visiting professor at the University of Bergen, Norway.
He has made more than a hundred artist books, most of them one of a kind which have been shown at the Philadelphia Art Alliance, Loeb Library, Harvard, the Van Pelt Rare Books library at Penn, the Swem Library at William and Mary and elsewhere. His artist books have been sold in London through the ICA and Serpentine Galleries and in New York through Printed Matter. See Artist Books.
One of his explorations, The DNA-Photon Project, was composed of an artist book and twenty five machines that he built. The project explored, made fun of, and offered an ironic critique of the most advanced countries and largest corporations of the twentieth century with their penchant for overreaching projects and national security secrecy. See DNA-Photon Project.
With a longtime interest in automobiles he has redesigned several, in particular a full-scale version of the 1964 Daytona Cobra Coupe penned in 1963 by Peter Brock for Carroll Shelby’s American racing team. The redesigned car was renamed, “The Dan Rose Special.” See the Auto portfolio.
Some of Dan’s automobiles have been featured in advertising, and in books and magazines, and he has written for several publications of the BMW Car Club of America.
Greylock Arts hosted Dan’s one person show, “Secret Century,” in 2009 which featured the car, maquettes from The DNA-Photon Project, and recent visual experiments.
For the last few years Dan has been experimenting in his studio with how people visualize in two and three dimensional distorted visual fields. He has used pictures primarily of the faces of supermodels, celebrities, and political figures. These explorations and experiments he has brought to Rachel Cheetham-Richard’s photographs.
A selection of his drawings is currently on view in the Gramercy Bistro at MassMoCA in North Adams, Massachusetts.