The opportunity to write for AEQAI came at a time when I was feeling isolated in a new city (Houston, Texas) and felt an urgent need to connect to artists around me, but was having trouble finding a pathway. Daniel enthusiastically welcomed me and my writing to AEQAI, and his appreciation for my ideas, point of view, and writing style motivated me to develop my voice as an art reviewer and to get more involved with the artistic community around me. All writers need a voice of positivity and openness like Daniel’s in the back of their heads encouraging them to engage with art of all disciplines in new ways. I will miss him and will always value the pathway that he and AEQAI provided.
I had the fortune of meeting Daniel Brown a few years ago… We met and spoke for a couple hours, only marginally about AEQAI, the rest about our lives, our interests and the passions that we followed. As I wrote for Daniel over the course of two years, I grew immensely as a writer and got to know him as a curious, thoughtful and funny person. His feedback and criticism were always generous and constructive, pointing towards problems when necessary. ….Daniel was an important writing mentor to me as well as someone who was adept at caring from afar…. he will always be present in my writing.
The nature of AEQAI is unique. It’s a living and breathing publication comprised of living and breathing creatives, but is all narrated through a digital and blue-screened platform. So it was with my relationship with Daniel.
Daniel was one of my biggest creative advocates and made me feel as though I could do anything, write for anyone but more importantly that I could write in any way. I began using un-words in my writing (words that aren’t words) when I felt like the right word just didn’t exist. My reviews weren’t just about the work I was critiquing but equally about the way I was doing it, something that Daniel was a huge and rare proponent of. He saw me as an artist writing about art, my reviews being art forms themselves. He always encouraged me to take creative liberties instead of subscribing to a formal and serious way of doing things. He removed the ever evasive pretentiousness that historically and popularly defines art criticism.
His supportiveness was matched by his passion for an honest and unforgiving way of looking at the art world. When it came to writing, he had an impatience for shrinking and people pleasing. “We are critics, not publicists!” he would say, offering both consolation and confrontation to his reviewers and peers alike.