Dan Keplinger is an incredible artist, motivational speaker, and subject matter of the Academy Award-winning documentary King Gimp. Born with Cerebral Palsy, Dan creates masterpieces by attaching a paintbrush to a headband. For the month of October, Dan is exhibiting his artwork at Towson Arts Collective in Maryland.
Born with mixed spastic and athetoid Cerebral Palsy, Dan has a speech impairment – a common associative condition among individuals with Cerebral Palsy – and it can make it difficult for people to understand him. Fortunately in high school, Dan found a way to communicate. His high school teacher encouraged him to express himself through art.
It is through art that Dan found his passion and led him to achieving a Bachelor of Science in Art at Towson University in 2000.
In order to create his artwork, Dan paints with a head stick, a brush connected to a dowel and headband, onto canvas spanning at least 4 by 5 feet. His friends cut and position the canvas and mix and place his paints. To paint he sits in a “W” position on the floor of his apartment which is covered with six-inch thick foam to protect his knees.
“Maybe I want people to see these feelings, so they know everything is not happy in my world,” he said. “Translating myself onto canvas became my language, something I needed to exist.”
Dan’s art, which includes self-portraits, abstracts and landscapes, was first professionally shown in May of 2000. His art has also been featured at prestigious shows across the nation, including the Herbst International Exhibition Hall at the Presidio of San Francisco, CA; the Millennium Arts Center in Washington, D.C.; the Chicago Cultural Center in Chicago, IL; and the United Nations Headquarters in New York City, NY.
“People are more willing to take time to understand me,” said Dan. “I do not know if they now realize that I do have something to say, or if what I do say just blows them away.”
Now you can view his artwork throughout the month of October in Maryland at the EBC Arts Center at Towson Arts Collective. If you are interested in watching Dan work on his latest piece, bringing a group from your school or organization to meet and greet Dan, call the center at (410) 916-6340 or submit an inquiry.
Click below to watch his award-winning commercial for Cingular Wireless.