Claiming, “Painting by its nature is just painting light,” William Daniels captures the nuances of light and form in his meticulously painted canvases, in which he foregrounds the tension between reality and artifice inherent to his medium. Through a methodical three-part process, he produces compositions that push photorealism into abstraction. He begins by constructing a maquette out of aluminum foil or scraps of paper and cardboard. He then carefully lights and photographs the maquette, working from the photograph to make his paintings. His earlier works, based on canonical paintings, pay homage to the masters of his medium, while poking fun at its weighty history. Recently, Daniels has immersed himself in an exploration of light and shape, crinkling foil into abstract and geometric constructions, then faithfully transcribing their complex interplay of light, color, and form in perceptually challenging oil-on-canvas works.