Old-World Opulence Imbues This Atlanta Artist’s Studio


Atlanta artist Daniel Zimmerman in the midst of several large-scale paintings and candelabra

A voluminous former antiques warehouse now houses Atlanta artist Daniel Zimmerman’s exuberant creative practice.

For Atlanta artist Daniel Zimmerman, art is about more than beauty; it’s a conversation, an opportunity to connect. “The art world is very social, and I think a studio should be an invitation,” he posits. In 2021, the Mississippi native converted a 5,000-square-foot former antiques warehouse—found about 15 miles south of Midtown—into a luxuriously appointed destination whose warmth and texture soften its cavernous volumes.

While one side of this expanse is devoted to Zimmerman’s paintings, giving him liberty to pursue artworks of monumental scale, the other half takes on a more residential feel. Anchored by white linen sofas and draped in textiles, this lavish salon is adorned with a rug of palatial scale beneath a dazzling 6-foot-wide crystal chandelier.

Multiple large artworks by Daniel Zimmerman, draped fabric and red disco balls

Swaths of textiles, cheeky accoutrements and oil paintings define the surroundings of the artist's workspace.

Elegant painting of a female figure in pink-peach and pale aquamarine

Portraits begin as charcoal, pastel or colored pencil sketches before coming alive via luminous oil pigments.

A work table scattered with numerous sketches and containers full of creative media and tools

Portraits begin as charcoal, pastel or colored pencil sketches before coming alive via luminous oil pigments.

Daniel Zimmerman stands on a ladder while painting within a fabric-surrounded room

The impassioned talent often scales a ladder to reach his soaring canvases.

With such opulent trappings, the creative naturally thought it a magical venue for fetes, particularly his annual masquerade. “So many of us are living out our normal lives, rarely with room for flagrant self-expression,” he observes. “I like to give people an excuse to run wild with their imaginations.” 

Currently, the multihyphenate is in the throes of several ongoing bodies of work, with his painting collections running the gamut from ambiguous silhouettes to more representative abstract portraits (featuring subjects both real and imagined). “I don’t want to put myself in a box,” the artist asserts. “I just like to find what energizes me and move in that direction.”

Common to all of Zimmerman’s paintings is his use of oil—a medium notorious for its mess and odor, but also its old-world luminosity. “I like the traditional aspect of oil, but the thing I love most is the patience it requires,” he explains, alluding to the prolonged drying process that the medium demands. “I tend to move quickly; the process helps me slow down a bit.”

To combat linseed oil’s olfactory qualities, the artist likes to add a fragrant flourish: lavender essential oil. The idea sprung from the elaborate gardens found just outside garage-style doors spanning 100 feet wide, extending his studio to its lush surroundings. “I’m obsessed with nature,” Zimmerman notes. “I’m constantly bringing in fresh herbs to enjoy their scent.”

The artist’s passion for plants has also sparked a wildly successful series of topiary paintings. The petite works began as “a way to experiment and get my hands moving before I started on larger pieces,” he explains. “But they have since became a runaway success, with each new release selling out rapidly.”

Zimmerman has always been drawn to “old-world style,” recalling trips to Europe where the splendor of its classical estates and “the pageantry of it all” left an indelible mark, he notes. Hence, “My paintings have a historical edge, but also an element of fantasy. In today’s age, we’re fortunate to have the opportunity to become anything we dream. I want viewers to imagine what they could be.”