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Oil portrait of db Foster, painted by Sean Sullivan in 2001, depicts Foster during his "bohemian hermit artist" years
Oil portrait of db Foster, painted by Sean Sullivan in 2001, depicts Foster during his "bohemian hermit artist" years
A Brush with ArtArtsColumnsNews

A Brush with Art: db Foster emerges with first of site-specific exhibitions

Most who have known Daniel Foster, the highly visible former Executive Director of Oceanside Museum of Art (OMA) and recent founder of North County Arts Network, will be surprised that Foster – aka db Foster – is currently emerging in the contemporary art world with a series of site-specific exhibitions of his own creations. The first exhibition titled “InSide -> Out” opens February 12, 2016 at Site 1: Susan Street Fine Art Gallery, located at 200 North Cedros Avenue in Solana Beach.

Foster, who left OMA in June 2015 to give priority to establishing his professional artist career, has practiced delayed gratification for many years. He admits, “Making art is the most satisfying and important work that I’ve pursued and produced in my adult life. And yet, strangely, everyone that I know…knows very little or nothing about it. I’m excited to open up and share my inner artistic journey with everyone this year.”

After pursuing his creative life privately since 1986, Foster never anticipated that his artistic journey and substantial body of work would remain in storage for many years. He adds, “Timing has been a critical issue. I’ve waited many years for the right time to come to fruition to share my art.”

Before becoming an artist, Foster credits his degree in Entrepreneurship from the University of Southern California and his extensive studies in Philosophy from UC San Diego as the foundation for his life in the arts. He reveals, “As an entrepreneur I fell in love with the idea of ‘inventing’ and began launching some businesses. Unbeknownst to me, I was philosophically setting myself up for my life as an artist to grow out of that soil.”

In 1986, at the age of 29, Foster had an epiphany experience when he attempted to make an artwork. Through this singular artmaking experience, Foster tapped into a deep and profound sense of his inner creative spirit, resulting in his life being forever changed. Foster philosophically and strategically redesigned his life, developing his art practice quietly and patiently through a deliberate process of isolated art making – a period he refers to as his “bohemian hermit artist” years.

Receiving a Master of Fine Arts degree in New Genres and Sculpture/Painting from the San Francisco Art Institute and extensive studies in the Visual Arts Department at the UCSD, Foster devoted himself to a full-time ascetic life of art making.

He elaborates, “My infatuation with art wasn’t that I had technical talent, but that I loved working with aesthetics and context, with the exploration of materials and processes.  The purest exploration of creativity is living ‘the artist’s life’. Art is scientific research, working creatively with the materials of our daily lives in a way that hasn’t been done before; going down into the deepest place of your being and finding the inherent uniqueness of your own voice and finding ways to express it. With time it becomes comprehensive and rich.”

After 1986 Foster discontinued signing and dating his art in order to maintain it as a singular body of work – not to be considered individual art objects or “products”, but instead to be woven together as a thematic whole. To avoid dissipation of the power of his practice, he has kept the body of work intact to present day.

The result is a 30-year body of artwork, which will be featured in a series of site-specific exhibitions, through which Foster will reveal his extensive and diverse artistic investigations and approaches in painting, installation, photography, poetry, public/site‐specific art, and conceptual art.

InSide -> Out Site 1 is a pop-up exhibition at the Susan Street Fine Art Gallery which will feature approximately 100 artworks by db Foster, which show holistic integration of his many varied practices. Foster states, “This show will be only the first part of a journey on which I will take viewers. The challenge has been to weave layers of diverse processes, materials, and outcomes into a holistic, complementary, site-specific installation that recontextualizes three decades of work. The core DNA of this show will contain hints of other practices to be prominently featured in future exhibitions.”

The public is invited to a reception Friday, February 12, featuring lights-out viewings every hour from 5:00 – 9:30 pm. Guests are encouraged to bring their own flashlights.

Susan Street Fine Art Gallery

200 North Cedros Avenue, Solana Beach, CA 92075

Public parking across street at Solana Beach train station

Public Reception: Friday, Feb. 12, 5-9 pm.

Artist Talk:  Saturday, Feb. 13, 4-6 pm

Reservation required; email RSVP request to [email protected]

Public Hours: 12-4 pm, Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 13-14 Only

Private viewing Feb 8-12 by appointment: [email protected]

Visit for more information.