PHOTOS BY ERICK GUZMAN
STORY BY REBECCA FOREMAN
DANNY'S SHOP IS NO LONGER AVAILABLE. PLEASE SEE SAMPLES OF HIS WORK BELOW.
Growing up in the windy city of Chicago, Danny Sobor was no stranger to graffiti. A frequent on the bus and train, he navigated his hometown through tunnels and panels of incredible wheat pastes, tags, and stencils. This street art became a young Danny’s muse. He was inspired to stencil and doodle, eventually exploring printmaking and painting in pursuit of his own fresh take on an urban tradition.
Danny’s pieces are inspired by the camaraderie that emerged from endless nights of wandering the streets of Chicago and soaking in all that the city had to offer. But as the son of hardworking and practical Polish parents, Danny’s artistic impulses were sometimes challenged at home. He searched for ways to convince his family that he could indeed make a livelihood out of his passion. He needed to make pieces that were commercially viable, but he also felt strongly that they maintain a level of integrity.
In 2013, Danny launched MILC (for “Man, I love Chicago”), a clothing and design company. The line was picked up by stores, and shirts even began to sell out this summer. Danny is set up to do a full brand exposure show in January at a Chicago street art gallery.
Danny finds his greatest stylistic uniqueness in the form of ink. It is a purely improvisational experience; there is no sketching anything out, no pencil marks, no nothing. “The idea is to just go with it and work organically.” He simply uses the ink in its purest form, and any splatter, slip, or other mistake is worked with.
This process is therapeutic. Larger pieces are made spending thirty to forty hours with a very thin ink pen. He works methodically, carefully placing and thickening his marks. When he’s drawing, Danny is able to zone out, “and any anxiety and worries I have dissipate.” It’s meditative: time and place don’t matter so much, and he feels peace.
Danny had little formal fine-art training growing up. While he admits that this has created some limitations that he’s “working on,” it also allowed him to develop his own unique, and sometimes “weird” style—particularly in drawing. Perhaps Danny inherited his parents’ diligence; he is committed to continuing to improve his artwork and brand name once he graduates in the spring.
To see more of Danny’s work: http://dannysobor.com/