One of the central artists in the international contemporary setting, with exhibits and artworks in the main museums in the United States and Europe, by showing a paintwork full of experimentations, processes and techniques, vocabulary of its own context, a thematic repertoire that registers spaces and extract impressions, but essentially a painting that, through the universe of images and its construction, discusses the intrinsic aspects of the own paintwork in its significances, in the assurance of its own plastic-visual poetry.
Daniel Senise was born in Rio de Janeiro in 1955. He performed exhibitions in England, Mexico, Spain. In Brazil, he carried out exhibits in museums Oscar Niemeyer, in Curitiba; Arte Moderna da Bahia; Arte Moderna do Rio de Janeiro; Arte do Rio Grande do Sul Aldo Malagoli, in Porto Alegre. He made his debut in individual exhibitions in the 80’s, attending as a student (and latter, as a professor) at the Escola do Parque Lage, Rio de Janeiro.
His career path started in the 80’s, his first individual exhibition was in 84, at the Escola de Artes Visuais do Parque Laje, in Rio de Janeiro. This moment is set as the return of painting. From this, the first question arises: from this initial milestone where there still is paint and brushwork, what is there from that in your development as a painter in your paintwork today?
In 1986 I decided not to leave the mark of the brushstroke in the canvas anymore. I thought that the mark of the brushstroke got in the way of what I was beginning to define in my interest in painting. I consider that every development of what I make is related to painting.
Your path took you to other significances, experimentation of techniques and processes. What had driven you to walk this path and what, if possible, are the most important or significant modifications you came to perform or is performing?
The experimentation of other forms to handle surface came together with the desire to make a paintwork that was still connected with some relevance nowadays. I used as a basis one of the main achivements of the modernism: the presentification of the canvas as an object, and no more as a neutral, passive surface. This arose from experimentations with materials. Together with this, I tried to enhance a characteristic of painting, although of little surface texture, in certain moments of modernism. I believe that it is your most unwavering basis, which is the thematization of lasting issues, the mistery of existence, etc.
In your paintwork pathway, you’ve been creating your own vocabulary and well defined in colors and in the treatment of the surface of the painting, such as the monochromatic definition. What brings you to this choice of colors?
Color is generally resulting from these surfaces I imprint. Although my works are always figurative, the representation is always made through materials, and not paint. This prevents a naturalist representation. At the same time, I rather represent the fragment, the residual, or the non-occupied space, the surfaces. This uses, in general, a reduced palette.
In your paintwork, there is a thematic repertoire, such as the interior of architechtural spaces, religious motifs, ateliers, but, even if recognizing themes, how do you feel your painting being seen as a painting that discusses in the foreground the intrinsic aspects of the own paintwork?
The religious motifs and some architectural spaces I used, actually, were compositions appropriated from other paintings. I believe that an author, when choosing a language to express oneself, at the same time they tell their history through this language, should use it critically, discuss it, amplify their possibilities.
Still continuing in the thematic, although it might be seen as a paintwork that discusses the painting, your work may be considered a narrative. Through it, you tell stories, register spaces, extracts impressions. How do you see that, even being a paintwork of its own context, your work, apart from sociology or archeology or psychoanalysis, just by its images, is so full of significations?
As I mentioned before, I don’t intend to talk about painting. My desire is to recover one of its clearer functions until modernism, which is to handle human issues. But in a way that can only be done through painting. I can say that I try to paint a contemporary landscape.
Still on the topic, there are figures and objects as representation in your work. A framework, for you, is an object itself? Painting is image?
Painting is an object, it may be even a mirror and, at the same time, it is a window.
Your paintings give us a composition and a balance of proportions, a symmetry, but in your execution, we know that there is an order of materials, a game you set with the materials, their transforming, their residues, the impression in the painting. The initial deflagration of work may be considered, in this spatial delimitation, something you act directly, and in the choice of which materials for your traces?
The definition of compositions is always in a certain level related to the material being used. The idea is that this material, more to what is represented, is the basis for the reading of the artwork.
Your work lets us see a production of visual signs, an abstraction and a representation, a tension of the background versus the image, experimentation and tradition, past and present. Is it, in this contrast, where there is a poetry, visual language and visuality of Daniel Senise?
A work that constitutes fully in the head of the spectator. I consider important that, while I speak of other things not necessarily related to the art structure, it is also discussing the language, in the case, the painting.
To execute this poetry, your process of creation brings an appropriation, a representation and an imaginary, and it has already been defined as a paintwork that avoids the “painting”. How is your work of a poetry with the canvas executed, its spatial field, the incorporations, the textures arising from that?
The work is developed in a territory where the painture is the approximation filter to handle things in life. There is no defined process. In many cases, the material indicates what should be done.