Introducing New Artist: Dan Faine

When it comes to enviable artistic resumés, British artist Dan Faine is hard to beat. Faine’s artistic path involves learning every element of the printing business to rubbing shoulders (and soaking up knowledge) from some of the most infamous artists of our time.

Faine is also co-founder of Dark Matter Studios – a boutique printmaking studio that has crafted beautiful screenprints for the likes of Boo Saville and Yinka Ilori. In fact, pop into Enter Gallery, and chances are you’ll see numerous pieces crafted by Faine adorning our walls.

Now it’s time for Faine’s art to take centre stage! In today’s blog, we’re revealing more about his new series of artworks and discovering how his artistic practice has been shaped by exposure to the minds of so many acclaimed artists.   


Limited edition art prints by Dan Faine | Enter Gallery


The Coriander Years

For most teenagers, a Saturday job is almost a rite of passage, but Faine’s experience was considerably more interesting than the odd shift down the local Sainsbury’s.

Faine grew up within his family business – Coriander Studios – an iconic print studio established in the 70’s by Faine’s father, that produced work for the likes of Damien Hirst, Tracey Emin, Bruce McLean, and Gavin Turk. Faine reveals:


“I worked at Coriander Studios on and off throughout my childhood and after art school. I learnt the whole process, screenprinting, the trade, and I got to work with some amazing artists. I worked on projects with a lot of the Young British Artists when they were taking off. Somehow, I’d inadvertently found myself in the right place at the right time.”


Nighthawks art print by Dan Faine | Enter Gallery


Rubbing shoulders with these great artistic minds was undeniably powerful for Faine, providing untold insight into what it takes to be an artist. First-hand, he experienced the passion and drive these artists possess, and observed as they’ve transformed cerebral ideas into tangible items. He tells us:


“To me, working at Coriander Studios was just that…work. It was a great example of brilliant minds working hard in the exact ways that they know how to work.”

Revolving Bookcase Hiraqla II, Aluminium by Dan Faine | Enter Gallery


Master Mentors

While there have been many mentors who’ve influenced Faine, there are two that have had the most impact.

The first came after art school when he began working as a painter for Patrick Hughes – an artist revered for his Reverspective technique, which is characterised by optical and visual illusions of landscapes and interiors. This influence is apparent in Faine’s furniture series which sees him create illusions of his own with flat perspective chairs and bookcases.

Victorian Nursing Chair V3, Aluminium by Dan Faine | Enter Gallery


The next mentor came after Faine returned to Coriander Studios and his focus was on the digital side of art production, bringing artworks to life using a computer. It was at this point that Faine started working with the Godfather of Pop Art, Sir Peter Blake on a number of his most coveted collections, including Blake’s Sources of Pop Art and the Venice Suite. He reveals:


“Peter would come into the studio one day a week, and I would work with him making digital collages. It was wonderful to see how he worked and he became a real mentor to me in terms of visual imagery. I would always try to predict what he’d choose in terms of colours, composition or fonts, and I always got it wrong. It was so intuitive for him, so natural. Working with him was such a pleasure. He could fill volumes of books with his stories.”



The pair worked on a range of projects together, including Blake’s Everybody Razzle Dazzle – a customised Mersey ferry commissioned by Liverpool Biennale. For the piece, the ferry was painted with Blake’s colourful interpretation of the dazzle painting technique used to camouflage British ships during the war. The same designs seen on the boat are also found in Blake’s popular Dazzle Alphabet series.

When Faine launched Dark Matter, Blake was one of the first artists to work with the studio, and his Tattooed People series is just one outcome of their ongoing collaborations.


On the Shoulders of Giants

Given his background and how art has been a constant presence in his life, it’s little wonder these influences permeate Faine’s own artistic practice. From his early works to this new series, the presence of other artists is always apparent.

The Green Stripe art print by Dan Faine | Enter Gallery


Look closely at Faine’s pieces of furniture, and you’ll find there’s an air of familiarity about the composition. This is because they are based on the colour and composition of famous works of art from the likes of Edward Hopper, Hilma af Klimt and Matisse.

Newspaper Shelf V2 by Dan Faine | Enter Gallery


For example, in Newspaper Shelf (pictured above), the colours are sampled from Bridget Riley’s 1989 piece, Fête. Faine has created four versions of this colourful piece, including Version 3, which featured in this year’s Royal Academy Summer Exhibition and is now sold out. Faine tells us:


“I thought that the colour decisions of the furniture was quite arbitrary, so decided, why not defer to an artist who has already made those decisions? I like the incongruity of stretching a painting onto a weird canvas that it doesn’t really fit onto so that it has the remnants of the original work. I’ve always had those other artists with me, so why wouldn’t I have them in my art.”


“I’ve come to see these furniture pieces as ancestors looking over you from another period in history. As an artist, making art now, you have all of art history hanging over you, everything you do is judged against the entire history of art, so bringing the artist via their seminal works was a respectful nod to that.”


Salon, Aluminium art print by Dan Faine | Enter Gallery

What’s the story?

There is a real sense of the surreal in Faine’s series. By removing the chairs from their usual habitats and leaving them empty, Faine implies narrative without being too explicit.

“I don’t want to make anything too explicit. The reaction I want to provoke, as well as amusement, is a challenge to figure out the story. I like to imply story, and leave the rest up to the observer.”


The collection is also an undeniable celebration of the aesthetic beauty and craftsmanship of these iconic pieces of furniture, making them star of the show. Faine explains:


“These pieces of furniture are all fixed in a particular era, depending on when they were made, so they have a real personality to them. I like the idea that in these works, it’s the objects themselves that become the characters.”


Faine's works are available as prints or aluminium cut outs. Explore the collection here.