Daniel Pollera (1953 - 2022) was born in the coastal town of Freeport, New York. His interest in art began at a very young age, gravitating toward drawing and painting the surrounding coastline of Long Island. After a short study at SUNY Farmingdale in Commercial Art, he left to enter the family business.
For almost 15 years, Daniel took a sabbatical from painting, but this didn’t affect his love for the sea. He obtained a Captain’s License in 1977 from the United States Coast Guard and took passengers for hire on the open ocean. Through this experience and visual knowledge he was drawn to begin painting again. Although Daniel was primarily self-taught, he worked with Frances Norris Streit, a portrait and mural artist, assisting her on a 14’ x 30’ historical mural for the Roslyn Savings Bank. He also studied with Everett Molinari, a well-respected President of the National Mural Society. Museum collections include Long Island Museum, Parrish Art Museum, and Guild Hall Museum.
For many years, Daniel split his time between his home in East Quogue, Long Island, NY and Baldwin Harbor, Long Island, NY. These two places offered him inspiration which was the catalyst for his work. “I look for a dramatic setting, filled with light to draw awareness to the image.” The light in his coastal scenes is most notable; people often say they wish they were there.
His work was featured in an episode of the Treasures of New York on the media platform, Thirteen, where he spoke the significance of the unique Bay Houses of Long Island and why they are so often the subjects of his paintings. You can read about his Treasures of New York feature, or read our interview with Dan about his process and inspiration.
"We are only passing through this lifetime of ours," Pollera said in reference to his work. "This is a revolving window of constant change and taking in the beauty from a visual perspective is fascinating and interesting; that is what fuels my passion. Living within close proximity to the salt marshes and shoreline has enabled me to capture a moment in time. I feel a deep connection with my subject and it constantly inspires me. I hope that I convey a feeling through my paintings that will be shared for generations and reflect our love for the local waters as they are today."
Daniel Pollera passed away in March, 2022.