Philippines native Dandee Danao, better known by his eponym Dandee Warhol, is a distinguished figure in the contemporary Houston art circuit. Valued for his distinctive aesthetic, which draws upon the influence of pop art as well as popular culture, Danao is also recognized as a dynamic collaborator, curator, and visionary. Danao’s works often depict iconic cartoon characters, alienated from their original backdrops and partaking in counter-culture recreation. While edgy, the images also inspire nostalgia, because the characters themselves were central to the 1980’s and 90’s cultural landscape. In this way, his work likens to his that of his namesake Warhol because of its ironic use of popular media subject matter. A majority of his pieces are characterized by meticulously designed geometric patterns. Danao is self-taught and colorblind, two idiosyncrasies that grant his style definition. He is familiar with a broad range of techniques and experimentation (including aerosol, oil and tape), though he works chiefly with acrylic on canvas. His style exhibits purity of lines, undetectable brushstrokes and arrangement of contrasting colors.
Shortly after establishing himself in the local arts scene, Danao founded War’Hous Visual Studios, an art space and assemblage of creative talent providing services including art consultation, design, and curation. Working through the studio, he demonstrated an avid commitment to the local and underground art community by coordinating eclectic shows and showcasing the city’s emerging talents. The intersection of talent provides a backdrop in which he and his creative contemporaries best thrive. Past collaborators of his include, among others, Houston muralist Daniel Anguilu, Cirque du Soleil, Texas Children’s Hospital, and the Lawndale Art Center. Recently, Danao established a non-profit division of the company, War’Hous foundation, with the intention of enlisting local artists to develop art therapy programs for children.
Just one year after emerging in the Houston art scene, Dandee Danao was awarded the Reader’s Choice Best Artist of the Year by the Houston Press (2011). The recognition indicates the completeness with which he represents the city of Houston’s diversified taste.