While mushrooms may seem mundane to most people, Daniel “Attaboy” Seifert’s series, “Grow in the Dark,” allows mushrooms to act as a symbol of rebirth. “Grow in the Dark” is a series that is a result of the 2016 presidential election. Attaboy’s choice of painting mushrooms stems from the way in which they grow. Attaboy explains that mushrooms grow “on the decay of dead matter,”conveying the idea that one can grow from what seems to be destruction. His series allows his audience to reflect upon the ways in which people can find optimism, rather than hopelessness, in a time when many feel surrounded by darkness.
Attaboy’s paintings are unlike any other, due to his materials. His acrylic paintings are done on layers of hand cut wood, rather than a traditional canvas. Therefore, Attaboy’s paintings can also be looked at as sculptures. He creates the basic shape of his subjects by carving the wood into the desired shape. More details are created by the way Attaboy layers different pieces of wood on top of each other. The smaller details of color and design are done by using bright colored acrylic paints.
“Grow in the Dark” revolves around the main theme of mushrooms, but not every piece is actually shaped like a mushroom. While some include the mushroom shape cut out of the wood, most creations have elaborate shapes with elements of nature and mushrooms painted on them. Another common theme is skulls. Attaboy has multiple works that incorporate the skull shape with mushrooms blooming on or around the skull – furthering his idea of growth from death and decay.
Attaboy’s series “Grow in the Dark” is just a fraction of all the things he has made. Aside from being an internationally celebrated artist, he is also a creator and a toy designer. He has written multiple books for both adults and children, while also co-founding the incredibly popular, Hi-Fructose magazine.