Sometimes going against the grain can help you stand out, creating a very sticky style. That's the case with Danyol Bernal, a Denver artist who creates his masterpieces using an unexpected medium: duct tape. Keep reading for his inspirations, as well as a look inside his bag.
Here's how his duct-tape experiment started: "Twelve years ago I covered my shoes in duct tape for a rave and then people started asking me and paying me to do their shoes," he says. Accessorizing his shoes developed into an artistic career for Bernal, who had an original piece with him when we spotted him at 16th and Ogden streets.
"A lot of it has to do with with history and juxtaposition in taking two items like Benjamin Franklin with an electric guitar, that old and new," he says of his fashion sense. Bernal dyed his pants florescent yellow himself because he wanted to see neon pants on someone. He paired them with teal Converse sneakers and a sweater for his street-style look.
Derby hats remain Bernal's favorite accessory; he owns them in many colors. Periwinkle is Bernal's favorite color. "Just go with it," he tells himself everyday. "Before, I was always earth-tone based: gray, black, white. I recently incorporated neon colors because I can find every shade of duck tape but there is not every color of pant out there. There is no shading in my art. It is all one solid color," he explains. But Bernal has also had custom colors of duct tape, flesh-toned hues, crafted specifically for his artwork.
His jam of the moment is "Cat Rider" by Little Dragon. Bernal's favorite film is The Fall. Christian Dior inspires Bernal's fashion and Andy Warhol is a big inspiration for his art. "I try not to indulge myself and influence my aesthetic," he notes. "just because I was reading something I don't want it to end up in my artwork."
Bernal bartered to get this Prada backpack. "I was on a subway in Brooklyn and I was carrying ten pieces of art with me and a woman wanted one, so I asked her to trade me her backpack for one of my self-portraits," he recalls. Here's a peek inside that backpack:
Here we have teal duct tape, a Spiderman mini-painting, The Complete Tales of Edgar Allan Poe, a digital portfolio with cloth cover, sunglasses, business card, mustache-printed waller and Murray's wax for Bernal's mustache, and last but not least: a jar of naval fuzz, which Bernal will incorporate in one of his new pieces.
Along with duct tape, Bernal also uses fur and faux furs for texture in his art, plus Sharpies and paint markers to make his duct tape artwork complete. He is now adding authentic navel fuzz to his repertoire.
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Mondo Guerra and Andy Dick are two celebrities who have commissioned work from Bernal. His clients also include local business owners and debutantes.
In addition to duct-tape portraits, Bernal also makes accessories for his Anachronism Collection. "In terms of style and fashion, I like to keep it an anachronism, which is what I stand for the most," says Bernal. And putting that word to use, Bernal's fashion and art are a direct reflection of his love to juxtapose the old with the new.