Daniel Rona is a Columbus-based painter and illustrator. With his start as a graffiti artist, Rona’s work tells stories about concepts of love, hate, life and death with a focus on growth. The composition of symbols that began with the rapid expression of graffiti now live in pieces that reflect both personal and universal truths about the human experience.



Rona started painting and drawing during childhood after obsessing over the graffiti and cartoons he watched everyday. Since then, previous inspirations have assimilated with contemporary painting movements and artists that are quietly referenced through his work with the use of texture, colors, and surreal imagery. Rona toys with the idea of creating something entirely new even after every composition.

Rona describes creating art as much like solving a puzzle, or maybe sometimes like playing a chess game. Painting becomes a game of both theory and intuition - Beginning as muddled piles of color and line work carved into with oil pastel and paint, finding a final image through a chaotic push and pull relationship. Compositions made up of forms and characters are pulled from Rona’s memory and reverberate throughout his works to create subjects that derive from daily life or a completely made up composition.

While Rona loves painting, drawing is a crucial part of his process as well. By sinking thoughts into a sketchbook and letting his “pen do the work," Daniel jots down notes and fills pages with random illustrations that arise - in particular, thumbnail sketches of possible compositions that fuel future paintings. Because Rona’s approach to painting is often freestyle, sketching has become an essential practice for visualization and inspiration.