Who is DS? The Real Danny Smith

The recent Plywood Collective show at SPIN Toronto’s art show featuring 14 artists’ work inspired by the concept of “Time”, had us mingling with artists while dodging ping-pong balls, drinking Pabst beer and unknowingly stealing guitar picks.  It was a very funny fond memory.

We had met or previously met almost all 14 artists; all but one. His painting of Mick Jagger, with his flirty, smirky smile was our only visual. It wasn’t until a couple of weeks later that Wllnttz got to sit down with this mystery man to find out who he really was.

Mick Jagger, Time Is On My Side  By Danny Smith, Acrylic and spray paint on wood, 30″ x 40″ (2013)

Danny Smith, also known as DS, as you might have already figured, is not an average guy. Over a few drinks at Sweaty Betty’s it was clear, we had not only found a quintessential romantic, but a guy with many talents.

At a very young age DS, was into drawing and art and it continues to hold a significant place in his everyday life.  But it didn’t stop there; he also was inspired and involved in performance arts and music and eventually he moved to Los Angeles as a full-time actor.

As an actor and musician, he has a long list of appearances, and performances in several movies and television shows. He composes music and also showcases his music genius in his band. His works have been featured in several movies, and he’s even opened with his band, for Aerosmith, Fleetwood Mac, Goo Goo Dolls and Hoobastank.

Ai Weiwei Born Radical  By Danny SmithAcrylic on canvas, 16″ x 16″

Born in Canada, he has made a life between living in Los Angeles and Toronto, acting, performing and creating his art.  Andy Warhol, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Banksy and Bast to name a few are some of his most favourite and influential artists.  Street art is such an enormous influence on his style and he even admitted to meeting Mr. Brainwash, owning three of his pieces and even painting next to one on Melrose Ave. in L.A.

DS’s own work uses strong imagery of pop culture, typography and portraiture. Stencilled and spray painted, he uses mixed mediums of acrylic, oil based markers, on found objects, wood, steel and canvas.

“Jay-Z (Gold)” By Danny Smith  Spray paint and acrylic on wood, 18″ x 24″, 2013.

Although, musical influences like Daft Punk, Beach Boys, Kanye West, The Postal Service, Crystal Castles are the obvious for DS, David Bowie’s multi-talented inspiration certainly stands out.

“My dad took me to the Bowie exhibition at the AGO for my birthday. I worship Bowie and this show was one of the best retrospectives I’ve ever seen. So inspiring”.

wllnttz_davidbowie_dannysmithDS Aladdin Sane  By Danny Smith   Spray paint and oil-based marker on 1973 album cover

Be sure to keep your eye open for a DS cartoon-esque rendition of sunglasses, or even a pair placed randomly over a statue’s eyes around the city.  His trademark will appear surprising and unsuspecting!

In the meantime, DS has kindly donated 3 pieces of one of their kinds, stencilled and spray painted art.  Stay tuned this Friday to get hints on where they will be hidden across the city of Toronto.

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