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Daniel Del Real is an Indianapolis based creative. He was born in Tijuana, Mexico and immigrated to the US with his mother at just a year old. Early on in his childhood Daniel desired artistic expression and creation.
In elementary, he’d get called on by teachers to draw whales. At home Daniel would occupy his time drawing his own versions of Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers, designing his own pogs, or building things like a claw machine from cardboard and string.
In middle school, Daniel made sure to always take art and design classes as his electives. He developed an interest in print design after taking a graphic design course. In that course, Daniel designed his first logo, a monogram of his first initial using blackletter styling. He later used that logo in memo pad that he still has today.
In high school, Daniel continued taking art courses and delved into photography for the first time. He’d experiment with early digital cameras as well as the Game Boy Camera and Printer. He would always enjoy using unconventional tools and equipment to achieve different results. His later photography experiments would lead him to use pin hole cameras as well as the Nintendo DS camera.
Daniel graduated from the University of Indianapolis in 2005, obtaining a degree in Visual Communication Design. He worked as a graphic designer at Ponce Publicidad, a Latino graphic design and advertising firm. He has also worked as a furniture designer and re-designer under his business Eclecticism.
Following those two jobs as a designer, Daniel shifted to visual art when he opened and co-managed a gallery and studio collaborative known as Two-Thirds Studio. Working in that collaborative Daniel co-founded and served as the director of visual arts programming for Nopal Cultural, a Latino arts collaborative serving Central Indiana.
Additionally, he has curated numerous exhibitions for area institutions such as the Eiteljorg Museum and the University of Indianapolis. Throughout his career Daniel has encouraged intercultural dialogue in the arts, promoting and lifting minority artists by helping them develop the skills needed to navigate the art world, as well as creating opportunities for these artists to showcase their work.
Today, Daniel serves as the curator for the Global Village Welcome Center, a cultural museum located in Indy’s International Marketplace neighborhood. Daniel’s work as a curator focuses on cultural exchange. He helps to create dialogue between different groups of people in a creative space, resulting in mutual understanding and appreciation. Visitors to the Global Village often find themselves learning new things and adjusting their misconceptions about cultures not their own.
As an artist, Daniel works to incorporate his own understanding and appreciation for cultures into visuals and stories. He uses the same process to express his own experiences as a Mexican immigrant. His ongoing and most important work is No Seas Concha, a soft sculpture that invites viewers to sit on it. Viewers unfamiliar with the Mexican pastry “concha” are given a correlation to a “yeast donut.” This correlation allows non-Mexican viewers who are unfamiliar with the concha an instant appreciation for the soft sculpture that instinctively leads to a smile.
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