Photo by Nicole Reed.

Photo by Nicole Reed.

Daniel O'Toole

Born Sydney -1984 

Growing up in the leafy suburb of Jannali just south of Sydney, Daniel O’Toole was brought up playing classical violin, and from an early age showed an aptitude for drawing. Coming from a creative family surrounded my music and painting established the right environment for him to develop what would later become, the focus of his adult life.  

O’Toole Studied Audio Engineering at SAE in 2004, later attending the National Art School in 2007, and the following year marks the launch of Newtown based art gallery ‘Oh Really’ of which O’Toole was a founding director at age 24, and was involved in the running of for three years, along side Jamie Nimmo and Max Berry. Oh really gallery was mostly known for exhibiting local street art and was an incubator for ideas and collaboration in a local community of underground artists that needed a platform. His profile as a local street artist was bolstered by the curation of regular events that engaged musicians as well as live painting performances and video installations, (other areas that the then young artist would push further into down the track. )

Going back a step, ‘EARS’ was a name first known to the people of Newtown through stickers, paste ups and murals that would pop up around the place around 2007/2008 and in the first half of 2008 O’Toole embarked on a 4 month busking mission every Saturday on King street. During this time its estimated that around 2000 paintings on cardboard and found materials were distributed throughout community. The concept was ‘ART BY DONATION’ allowing the public access to free art and letting them choose its value was not only an interesting social experiment but a successful marketing tool that worked to launch the artist into a full time practice and start getting regular work as a muralist.

He later established ‘Soldiers Rd’ an inner city gallery located in a loft apartment overlooking central station at Sydney’s infamous Hibernian house, and in 2013 he decided to return to a full time art making practice and close the gallery doors once again.

In recent years, his projects have taken him around the world - from the Gobi desert making super 8 films in 2015, and in 2017 to Lyon for an exhibition with the Lyon Biennale (showing video work) and a two month painting residency with ‘Tavern Gutenberg’ in Guillotière.

In 2018 O’Toole went to Kyoto/Japan for his first international music tour, and last year he held solo shows in Sydney’s (May Space Gallery/Waterloo ) and Melbourne gallery and event space (Juddy Roller) as well as partaking in a month long painting residency with Q-Bank gallery in Queenstown Tasmania, and then later exhibiting the resulting work with Marfa gallery in Melbourne that same year.

Daniel O’Toole also known as EARS, for his public murals and unique style of street art, continues to explore the correlation between painting and video, and works across a range of mediums as a truly inter-disciplinary artist. His public mural style is focussed around portraits that use the human face as a vessel for abstraction, exploring line, form and colour. ‘EARS’ paintings employ musical gestures and symbolism influenced by European modernists like Miro, Kandinksy and Picasso, movements of art like Orphism and fauvism have also played a part in informing the work, and Daniel was informally mentored by Australian Artist Anthony Woods / ‘Tony Woods’ 1940-2017.


Daniel O'Toole

Born 1984 - Australia 

Contact - info@earstotheground.net


Exhibitions

‘A Passion for Portraits’ Group show at Mary Place Gallery, May 2006
First Solo Exhibition ‘Sounds of Nostalgia’ at Riley’s Place Surry Hills. Sept 2006
Pine Street gallery street art festival exhibition ‘here comes trouble’ Oct. 08
Carriage Art Works exhibition 14th Jan. 09
‘In Full Bloom’ CBD Public exhibition by ambush Gallery 09.
‘Painting 09’ at Brunswick street gallery Melbourne march 09.
‘PAL’ Group show at Big Umbrella on the 4th March 2010 in San Francisco.
Minus Canvas at Joshua levi gallery 2010
Solo show ‘warpaint’ series at Lo fi collective. (2010)
Solo exhibition and video installation ‘Discoveries’ Oh Really gallery 2011.
‘Elements’ , solo exhibition at Harrison Galleries. June 2011
'Board' exhibition at the NGV 2011
Solo exhibition 'False Freedoms' at Soldiers rd Gallery 26th July 2012
Spring Group show at James Powditch studio. Sept 2012
Wonder walls group exhibition in Wollongong Nov. 2012
Higher Ground Group show at kind of gallery. Nov 29 2012
New Lines Exhibition at Rex Livingston April 2013
In Transit (dual show with Matt Leslie at Soldiers Rd gallery Aug 2013.
Berlin Residency Show at 111 Tor Strasse Berlin Sept. 2013
The Season of spring group exhibition Flower Pepper Gallery Pasadena USA. March 2014.
Finalist in the Caleen Art prize at Cowra Regional Gallery 2014
‘Polaroid Painting’ solo exhibition/China Heights Gallery 11th April 2014
Finalist in the Sunshine Coast Art Prize 2014
Exhibition/creative workshop at Benalla Regional Gallery Jan 2015 ‘Unrest’ solo exhibition at Stacks Projec,ts NSW 2017
‘Bending Light’ solo exhibition at Juddy roller Vic 2017
Video work ‘Echo chamber included in ‘Ici Maintenant’ group exhibition as part of the Lyon Biennale with Taverne Gutenberg gallery / France 2017.
‘The Long Tomorrow’ solo exhibition at May space/Waterloo 2018 ‘Broken colour’ solo exhibition at Juddy Roller gallery/ Melbourne 2018 Studio residency and exhibition at Q-Bank Queenstown /TAS 2018



Commissioned Works
Live Painting for Information and Cultural Exchange charity at cockle bay wharf (sold through Sotherbys) 2010
100 metre long mural for Marrickville council in Camperdown Oval/NSW. 2011
Mural on Cleveland St Surry hills for Jazz Club/‘Venue 505’ Nov. 2012
Mural at ‘Venue 505’ 2013 
Live Painting mural at Cowra Regional Art gallery March 2014.
Public mural on Camden St. Newtown for Marrickville council 'Perfect Match project' 2014
Commercial Mural at SAE (School of Audio Engineering York St. Sydney 2014
Commissioned mural installation at Benalla Regional Gallery Jan 2015. Two story mural on King street Newtown for the New Theatre. 2016 Temporary mural at Liberty Place Sydney CBD 2017 with Ambush Gallery