Daniel Klaas Beckwith was born in 1988 in Richmond, VA. He received a BFA in Sculpture from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2010, and an MFA in Sculpture from Yale University in 2015. His sculptural work has been shown internationally including: New York, NY; Los Angeles, CA; Richmond, VA, Philadelphia, PA; Miami, FL; Ecuador; England; Japan; and others. He currently lives and works in New York, New York.
What have you been up to since graduating from VCU?
After graduating VCU I began working for different artists as a fabricator and artist assistant. I lived and worked in Richmond for a number of years before receiving my MFA in Sculpture from Yale University. I currently live and work in New York, NY.
What advice would you give a current VCU Sculpture student?
I would advise sculpture students to reach out to multiple disciplines, and to take as many classes as possible. Learning always refines a critical language, and divergent interests can shape complex conversations. Specialization is a wicked economic structure and though it can seem practical, all complicated problems share their burdens along a large web of disparate ideas.
How did VCU prepare you for your current situation?
My time as an undergraduate was spent working in the studio. Techniques and resources that were available at VCU kept me up late through the nights in shared work spaces with other earnest young artists. I would credit this strange and focused time with preparing me to work for myself while sharing a community where peers willingly chose to help each other to produce work, or talk, or listen.
How do you define success?
Success is a complicated problem, which I do not think has an end point. Life is a very complex network of interactions, but as long as you find some way to be constantly entertained, that is truly all you could ever hope for.
Why did you decide to study sculpture?
The decision to go into sculpture was a compromise between an investment in physics and psychology and ‘things as they really are’. Objects allow multiple significations, like everything else in the world, and can collapse the understanding of real things into a plane of pattern recognition and useful entertainment. Physical specificity can describe roles within learned ideological sets that can shift passive observers into an active audience.