Dan Gilhooley, Tony, Pythagoras and Me


“Tony, Pythagoras and Me” synthesizes my diverse creative impulses experienced over fifty years of artmaking in an attempt to portray a lifetime of creativity. The picture contains, and tries to unite, such disparate interests as traditional realism and geometrically abstract sculpture, employing media such as oil, acrylic, glitter, graphite and pastel. Tony Smith was my most charismatic and influential teacher. Tony believed art should be speculative. If an artist left a trail of creative thoughts and feelings which Tony could follow, the artwork was successful. For Tony, art was shared introspection, a mutual inquisitive search for answers to ineffable questions. Pythagoras, the ancient Greek mystic and natural philosopher, was Tony’s model for creative investigation. Pythagoras’ most important discovery was the association of musical harmony with simple numerical ratios. For Tony, this connection between nature, number, and the subjective human experience of pleasure was the greatest mystery of all.
Artwork Info
Date 2017-2020
Dimensions 33 x 24 x 11 inches
Medium Oil, acrylic, glitter, graphite, and pastel on paper mounted on panel
Artist Info
Born Racine, WI
Works Bellport, NY


Dan Gilhooley is an artist and psychoanalyst. He graduated with an A.B. and M.A. in Studio Art from Hunter College, earned an M.A. and doctoral degree in psychoanalysis from the Boston Graduate School of Psychoanalysis, and a certificate in psychoanalysis from the Center for Modern Psychoanalytic Studies in New York. In 2007 he was a fellow in the Psychoanalytic Research Training Program at Yale University. Since 2000 Gilhooley has practiced as a licensed psychoanalyst. Gilhooley was elected to the National Academy of Design in 1991. He has held 18 one-person exhibitions, published ten peer-reviewed papers and book chapters, and has spoken at a dozen national conferences on topics such as dreaming, creativity, and intersubjectivity. In collaboration with his patient Frank Toich, he authored Psychoanalysis, Intersubjective Writing, and a Post-Materialist Model of Mind: I Woke up Dead, published by Routledge, which received a Gradiva Award for best psychoanalytic book in 2020.