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Daniel Gonçalves in conversation with stephen romano

This interview was originally published in DISINFO.com, 2018

Daniel Gonçalves is a self-taught draughtsman and painter from Porto (b.1977) with a deep genuine creative streak. This gift, combined with a hyperactive personality, led him from an early age to understand the world and to relate to it through his artistic expression, having participated in the last decade in multiple collective exhibitions held in Porto.

In the course of his experimentations searching for a personal style, regardless of the multiplicity of techniques, he has always revealed a particular attention for the games of shapes and colors. Lately presents an obsessive black-and-white, materialized in geometric abstract drawings, though spotted by organic elements: a repetitive minimal aesthetic, more circular than linear. - Tiago Coen

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DISINFO: Can you explain where you begin when you make one of your works. What mental preparations do you make in advance?

I begin my works spliting the paper in four parts with a pencil and a ruler, must find the center of it. Its kinda like finding my own center, conducting little things in order to get to a mind set that compels me to the making.

Working mostly over night, the night provides the silencie I need for concentration. I always use the same table, sit on the same chair facing east, all things must be in a certain place, in the right disposition. Pen (the same that i've been using for 20 years), compass, etc I'm completly obcessed, everything has to fall on the right place.

DISINFO: Do you know what the plan will be for your compositions in advance or do they reveal themselves to you as you develop the work itself?

I do not plan or preview what I will bring to the paper through drawing. Usually the work reveals itself as I am developing it. For me it is as if it were a trance, as if my hand is driven by a higher energy or force.

DISINFO: What other art influences you?

Mostly everything that I see as authenticity. Primitive african art, madhubani designs, central american art, Tibetan geometries. I also look at the works of Wolfli, Lessage, Dellschau, Bess...

DISINFO: Do you consider yourself a mediumistic artist? What forces do you communicate with? What goes through your mind while you are working?

I want to think that there's a energetic, invisible force that circulates arround the world like a wave. And, that I have a special connection with it. Dont know the name. But I rather have that and say its guiding my hand than be considered crazy. Or, I am crazy and the drawings are just means to reconcile within myself.

DISINFO: What are your aspirations as an artist? What do you consider the measure of success?

My biggest aspiration is to live long enough to complete my life's work and perceive its meaning. To show as much as I can in curatorial projects and get to places such as collections so the work can get a life of its own.

I don't see success measured based upon merchandising/value, otherwise it doesnt worth anything.

DISINFO: What have been some of the highlights of your career as an artist to date?

To be part of Treger Saint Silvestre Art Brut Collection that arrived in Portugal 4 years ago, where I get the chance to show my drawings side by side with Darger, Wolfli, Lessage, etc.

To know the collectors Richard and António, two exceptional human beings.

To be also part of the Museum of Naïve and Marginal Arts in Jagodina, Serbia.

To get to know gallerists such as Pol Lemetais in France and Stephen Romano in NYC, making a tremendous effort to see the work of artists recognized. And last, but not least, the huge number of talented artists like Damien Michaels.

DISINFO: If you could place your art between any two other painting, any in the history of art, that you feel such a juxtaposition would explain your art fully, which would it be?

Thats an easy one: Lessage and Dellschau. Their intricate and meaningful works of a lifetime.

The geometric decorative motifs; eye for detail, horror vácui, obcessive vast body of work.

Mostly the beauty of geometry.

installation view of "NOCTEM DIABOLI" Stephen Romano Gallery's ALL HALLOWS EVE Special + Oct 30 2018 The Living Gallery, New York NY
installation view of “Opening of the Third Eye” Four person exhibition curated by Stephen Romano 2018 The Living Gallery New York, NY
installation view of “No Stars - A Twin Peaks Tribute Exhibition” October 2019 Curated by Stephen Romano

Daniel Gonçalves

3D Virtual Art Exhibition

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