The inspiration for Danielle Mailer's colorful artwork-often depicting the female form along with dogs, cats, horses, and fish-comes from her longtime relationship with Provincetown's unique landscape and culture. As a favorite destination for summer trips as a child and in later years, Provincetown holds a special place in Mailer's heart. Danielle Mailer feels her inspiration comes from her painter mother Adele Morales Mailer and writer father Norman Mailer. The brilliant colors found in Mailer's work are drawn from the influence of her mother's Latin heritage. Both parents, she says, powerfully impacted her life. Her work is joyful and full of movement but it is also evocative of both an inner search and a willingness to open oneself to life's mysteries.
Her works on cut aluminum are what she calls sculptural silhouettes. It's a new category she invented. Much of her work, because it stands on a base and is decorated on both sides, appears to be sculpture but she considers herself to be a painter. She also does work on paper and wall-mounted pieces. "Not unlike the lively and festive Provincetown environment," wrote Debbie Forman in Cape Cod Life, "Mailer's art is exhilarating; boldly conceived with serpentine lines that venture into lyrical turns and arabesques, colors that shout, and patterns that ignite your imagination."
At one point in her career she moved away from her figurative painting and into graphic design where her work became much more about patterns. She wanted to do work that was representative of her inner reality and began decorating shapes in silhouette using personal symbols from her early life such as the artichokes she watched her mother eat at the kitchen table or repeating patterns of bones. Her work has become more patterned over time and now is often about the relationship of one shape to another as opposed to the meaning of individual shapes.
Most recently she has moved to large-scale public work which has created both a problem and the opportunity to creatively solve it. Since her studio rooms are not large she has had to design her large works to be done in jigsaw-like pieces. She has the quarter inch aluminum cut into those pieces and does the painting on each one in the studio. Then she takes them outside and puts the entire piece together on the lawn to makes sure everything is right before it's transported to its final location.