DAYTONA BEACH – As unusual as it may be for locals to hear that a French artist paints two murals at the Daytona Hotel in One Daytona, his art proves he’s no stranger to the area – or to the race that takes place across the street.
Erwin Dazelle has worked in the United States for 20 years and has been in Daytona Beach since 2010. He finished his murals last week, as part of an effort to incorporate more artwork into One Daytona. One Daytona is located on International Speedway Boulevard, directly across from Daytona International Speedway.
Working with the right people over the past few years has given Dazelle the opportunity to add her artistic voice to the Daytona Hotel.
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Dazelle was working with Gallery 500, an art gallery located right next to the hotel, when representatives from One Daytona approached him with the idea of a mural.
In about ten days, Dazelle used two walls outside the hotel to paint murals depicting the area’s beaches and track races.
Dazelle said he included as much detail as possible in both murals.
“I grew up in a family of master stained glass windows,” said Dazelle. “I grew up with colors and black lines, which is why I work like this now.”
In the painting of the speedway, Dazelle lines up different types of cars to represent the history of the track. The mural also features jubilant fans, the scenery of the race track, and even the trace of a rocket going into space as the residents of Daytona Beach would see.
For the beach mural, Dazelle said he took inspiration from his time at the beach and observed the scene over the years. He painted a typical day by the beach with surfers, lifeguards, vehicles parked on the sand and several beach goers enjoying the beach in their own way.
Dazelle’s inspiration as an artist comes from “books, sketches and traditional French artists”, but also from American artists such as Norman Rockwell. (Rockwell spent a week in Daytona Beach drawing beach scenes.)
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“It’s a mix of everything”
“I think I am real even though I grew up the traditional way,” he said. “I’m from the 70s, so I grew up in the 80s, 90s. I have all these games, cartoons, Japanese, American, European. It’s a mix of everything. Hope this speaks to people and they can see it.
While working with stained glass art in his home country, Dazelle said he worked with other people to create the idea for projects. Such a contribution is something he greatly appreciates.
“With the stained glass window it was like that, people would walk into the studio and we would build something with the client,” he said. “It’s the same thing (painting), but with my own spirit and my own identity as an artist. Each time is a different experience and each time it is special.
He said that no matter what he paints and in what style, he keeps his own “color harmony, so people can recognize my work because of the color melody.”
“Most of the time people say ‘we have seen your work and recognized it’. So for me, (it’s) one of the most important things you need to have to stay as an artist for years to come, ”Dazelle said.
Dazelle isn’t shy about using colors and making them as vibrant as possible – a feature that Gallery 500 director Amber O’Neal says fits the idea for the mural.
“I knew Erwin’s job would be perfect,” she said. “Its colors, its patterns, they’re so bold and cheerful, and it works really well.”
O’Neal said Dazelle’s work evoked a sense of excitement, which she was excited to see when he started painting the murals last week.
She said that the appearance of Dazelle’s art reminded her not only of the murals and the art scene in Paris (where she did her graduate studies), but also of how coherent the aesthetic of this city is. makes her beautiful.
“They really do everything to beautify the city and attract viewers – the water fountains are beautiful, the subway entrances are beautiful,” O’Neal said. “It’s something that I think here in America we’ve kind of lost, but I see a resurgence of that support for local arts and making everything beautiful again.”
She said Dazelle’s murals will be added to the Daytona Beach Mural Trail, a website where the city documents the city’s murals, so visitors know where they are.
“He could have just been driving cars on a nice beach, but he decided to focus on the people on the beach – the family, the fun, the excitement. The same with the track with the fans, ”said O’Neal. “Everything, from the subjects to his colors, provokes this reaction with his work. “
Dazelle said he also wanted to work on projects related to “marine life, fishing, boats, Florida life, wildlife.” He said he intended to keep people on these projects because “we are wildlife – we can destroy it and save it.”
“I think what makes a place or an area is the mix of everything in this environment. It’s not just one thing, ”he said. “It’s like what I do. If I just use red, it won’t be a work of art, but I use all the colors, and the vibrations of the different colors make it special.