Scott Daniel Ellison American

Since childhood Scott Daniel Ellison has been curious about the mysteries of the natural world. He grew up in rural New York State and would often scour the local farms, meadows and ponds searching for animals, bones, ruins and anything else that might fuel his imagination. This fascination with the unknown still inspires much of his artistic work today.


Scott Daniel Ellison originally trained as a photographer. In 2000 he studied his B.A. at the State University of New York at Purchase, in 2001 he attended New York's International Center for Photography, and in 2010 he attained his M.F.A. at the State University of New York at Purchase.


The artist counts images by Diane Arbus and Ralph Eugene Meatyard as early inspirations. He is deeply influenced by Native American and Scandinavian folk art, mythical creatures, horror movies, folk tales, early goth/punk music and imagery. Ellison's work as a painter engages pared-down lines and forms, a general economy of means and includes a strict palette. Ellison paints a loose narrative involving an assortment of beasts, creatures and ghouls. Often beginning with a favourite moment from classic horror films, the artist allows his mind to wander, setting the stage for an obscure episode from a story with no beginning and no end. Art critic Scott Indrisek says of Ellison's work: "Anyone's reaction to these scenes is also tempered by a simple fact: Ellison's paintings present themselves as relics of a type, their surfaces scuffed and pre-aged, making it difficult to nail down their exact provenance. They're either fresh from the studio or unearthed from some forgotten attic, where they weathered the decades before being rediscovered. . . The quality conjured is talismanic."


Ellison's artworks inhabit a place that is eerily alien and yet often familiar at the same time, an alternative reality populated with animals, monsters and other apparitions that exist on the edge of our human senses. Ellison creates compositions of apparent spontaneity with a deceptively simple visual vocabulary which reference classroom blackboards and doodles in the margin of school exercise books. The paintings have childlike qualities and are pictures that delight, entertain and yet alarm the viewer.


Scott Daniel Ellison has shown his paintings throughout the U.S.A. and in Stockholm, Sweden. He regularly exhibits with Clamp Art in New York and in 2014 he had a solo exhibition at the Matteawan Gallery. In 2012 Ellison was awarded a Fellowship in Painting by the New York Foundation for the Arts. In 2014 his first monograph, 'Iowa, Ohio', was published by Schilt Books and in 2016 a second book, 'Witch Hazel', was published by Clamp Art.