Boyd was born in Cairns in 1982, and has been exhibiting his work nationally and internationally since 2005. He lives and works in Sydney. In 2007 Boyd was selected for the inaugural National Indigenous Art Triennial, Culture Warriors, curated by Brenda L. Croft at the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra. This significant show has since toured to the Art Gallery of South Australia (2008), the Art Gallery of Western Australia (2008), the Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane and the Katzen Arts Center, Washington DC (2009).
Daniel Boyd’s work reinterprets Aboriginal and Australian-European history and often re-appropriates classical portraits featuring colonial icons such as Captain Cook, Governor Phillip and King George III. He adorns the ‘heroes’ of empire with eye patches, parrots and necklaces of skulls, to suggest their true status as pirates. Boyd interrogates official history in order to create a dialogue between opposing ideas and cultures.
Boyd has said, ‘questioning the romantic notions that surround the birth of Australia is primarily what influenced me to create this body of work. With our history being dominated by Eurocentric views, it is very important that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people continue to create dialogue from their own perspective to challenge the subjective history that has been created’.
In 2009 Boyd was commissioned by the Queensland government Public Art Fund to produce a major sculptural work for the newly developed Kangaroo Point park in Brisbane. The work, titled Seven Versions of the Sun, was installed in May 2010.
In 2010 Boyd was included in the exhibition at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, Wilderness: Balnaves Contemporary Painting, curated by Wayne Tunnicliffe. Other group exhibitions include: Octopus 9: I forget to forget, curated by Stephen Gilchrist, Gertrude Contemporary Art Spaces, Melbourne (2009); Contemporary Australia: Optimism, Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane, Queensland (2008); Lines in the Sand − Botany Bay Stories From 1770, Hazelhurst Regional Gallery, Gymea (2008); If you see something say something, Gallery 4A, Sydney (2007); Right Here Right Now, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra (2006); and From the Edge, Wagga Wagga Regional Gallery, and the Ivan Dougherty Gallery, University of New South Wales, Sydney (2006).
Boyd’s work is held by the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, MCA, Sydney, the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, as well as numerous private collections nationally.