Daniel Matthew York’s Delusionism Art.

Define: Delusionism: Noun. “I coined the word, looking for something to describe this collection which provides an escape from the every day delusion that you’ve made your life into.” – York 

Daniel Matthew York | "Venus in the City of the Angels" Oil on Canvas, 2024 36"x48"

What is delusionism?

I came up with the word years ago on a road trip with my daughter, we were trying to come up with a word that really described the impact I was trying to have on my viewers.

Humor had always been of major importance to me and who I am, so I used to try and incorporate it into my work as often as I could. When I really consulted myself on why, I found that what I was really trying to do was “wake people up.” Humor was just one way to do that. The work developed from there into what it is now. 

I’ve always respected the fact that the vanguards of art movements were not really intending to create a movement, but were pressing the current boundaries of art for their own purposes and effect. Andy Warhol screen printing a soup can, Basquiat creating attention-dominating work you can’t look away from, George Condo’s crazy characters, Titian and John Singer Sargent’s color-pouring liveliness, these masters of art were not pressing easy political buttons for effect or using pure shock-values for sales. I use their examples to examine myself and what is it that I can put into a piece that is going to wake someone up, up out of the delusion. There is surely a delusion, and I want to get my viewers to escape its mundane everyday reality.

English Books, Dictionary Defintions, to get Delusionism.

When you read the origin of the word delusion the English Dictionary, the word’s meaning is “seeing something that’s a false idea caused by some sort of mental illness”  and “some falsely or delusively believed idea.”  It comes from Latin dēlūdere to play false, equivalent to dē-de- + lūdere to play.

What’s the real delusion? That we’ve all become “adults” and get all serious and we sit around and worry about our problems and money concerns and jobs.  When I really get to know someone, they’re all still the same kids they were decades ago. When you hang out with your childhood friends as adults you all know you’re full of shit (a delusion synonym). Faking it all. Delusionists. New clothes, older bodies, jobs, all fake.  Decision by decision, we’ve all adopted this façade of being “adult.” What are we all doing? We’re “playing false” as the Latins said.