Artist Spotlight: Danielle Mastrion

Sit down conversation with Brooklyn artist Danielle Mastrion

New York City-based muralist, painter, and self-taught aerosol artist, Danielle Mastrion, produces vibrant images against the muted landscape of New York City – saluting the grit and valor of 80s and 90s street art which inspired her while growing up in Brooklyn. “… that grit of the city that you don’t find anymore is so much a part of my memories growing up – so much a part of me. That’s why I paint what I paint, to freeze these moments in time that won’t be around much longer with the changing face of the city,” she says. Mastrion studied at Parsons School of Design where she graduated with a B.F.A in Illustration and cultivated her passion and eye for art. Her comfort level in large-scale paintings provided a seamless transition from canvas to walls – some walls as high as 30×100 feet such as the one in Coney Island where she was commissioned by Luna Park to complete a three-part mural. She will resume the second installment in March and April, “It’s an honor to pay tribute to the neighborhood that raised me,” Mastrion says. She was also recently commissioned by Spike Lee to paint four pairs of sneakers for the cast of his the upcoming Netflix series “She’s Gotta Have It”, in addition to a pair he wore to the NBA All-Star Weekend in New Orleans. Aside from painting, she was also featured in a mini-documentary about her craft on A&E. “Do it. Do it as much as possible. Make sure no matter what – your hand, your craft, and your skill is the best it can be.
Danielle Mastrion at work

Danielle Mastrion at work

Mastrion found guidance in mentors, Meres One and SeeTF, who supported her along the way – but she also celebrates female street artists who continue to provide inspiration in a male-dominated arena. Her stance on women empowerment and educating through the power of art is evident in her #BringBackOurGirls, #SaveYazidiWomen, and #GulabiGang murals that she worked on alongside painter and muralist, Lexi Bella, at Welling Court in Queens. In addition to her mural in Luna Park, Mastrion’s favorite projects are “any community driven projects or portraits of influential women.” The Malala Yousafzai mural that she painted at The Bushwick Collective was an important piece because it was the first time she discovered her voice and responsibility as an artist to educate the masses – soon after, she was inspired to paint a mural of Maya Angelou. Mastrion’s favorite projects also include MCA & Kool Herc at the legendary 5 Pointz in Long Island City and Biggie at The Bushwick Collective in Brooklyn because it was her first color piece. … that grit of the city that you don’t find anymore is so much a part of my memories growing up – so much a part of Danielle Mastrion’s advice to young artists, especially women who are interested in getting into street art: “Do it. Do it as much as possible. Make sure no matter what – your hand, your craft, and your skill is the best it can be. No one can argue with skill. People will try to put you down, say you can’t do it, or say you aren’t good enough, but once they see your talent – that smashes anything negative. People always respect hard work, dedication, humility, and skill. Remember: You aren’t just a ‘female artist’ – you are an artist. Period. Know that you are good enough, you can do this, and you can kill it.”
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