Daina Krumins was born in 1947 in a Munich refugee camp. Her family immigrated to the United States when she was young. Like her mother, Daina has Asperger’s syndrome. Fortunately, her father, who was an accomplished photographer, and her uncle, a Latvian painter, encouraged her early creative eccentricities, which included collecting metal shavings, wax teeth, snakes in formaldehyde, jellyfish, and crabs. Ignoring her teachers’ advice to be more social and pursue a normal life, Daina went on to receive a BFA at the NYU Film School, followed by an MFA from the California Institute of the Arts, and upon graduation found employment as a rotoscoper with Lookout Mountain Films.
Diana is a New Jersey resident and has been described as a “homegrown Surrealist.” That description suggests something coming from the earth, which is apt. She refers to her photographs, film, woodwork, and sculpture as preoccupations with textures. To date, she has completed a total of four films, spending anywhere from nine to seventeen years working on each.
“My main preoccupation as an artist, and to some extent as a person, has always been based on texture. Texture is such a small consideration for most people. To say that my visual world-view is based on a relationship with textures is almost like saying that the most important thing about a piece of writing is the number of punctuation marks. It seems silly.
And yet, I believe it as a valid way of looking at the world as any other way. But I wonder why repetitions have so much meaning for me. One possibility that has occurred to me is that perhaps my mind is more primitive in some ways and that my obsessions and fixations have something to do with evolution. How to explain? OK. If a bird flies between two blueberry bushes and one bush has lots of berries and one has only a few berries, how does it know where to go? The same with a monkey looking at banana trees, or perhaps even a billionaire considering his various bank accounts.
My work comes from my texture-driven, non-neurotypical way of finding delight and meaning. It’s not verbal meaning, All I can say in words is that it does, in fact, have meaning. In a way, it is my world.” —Daina Krumins