Brothers and Sisters I:
Outside – Street Images
Social aspect: dignity and body awareness, today’s migration
Waiting II, oil on canvas, 76 x 92 cm
In the 1990´s Dalva Duarte discovered a black and Latin community strictly separated from the white areas in Fort Lauderdale. The monumental portraits especially of the women show the warm colours of her home village in Brazil (orange, ocre, yellow), but also a spontaneous identification with the people the artist drew before painting them, something we call a high „street credibility“. Emma, Waiting I or Memory blue express a dignity and a sensuous body awareness which Dalva Duarte often articulates as lost or endangered.
She uses a classical accuracy, an almost photorealistic approach disturbed by a personal form of cubism: manyfold superstitions and shiftings of surfaces, lines or – three eyes. Escape from heaven and also J´irai au paradis (front page) can be seen as a comment on today´s treatment/situation of refugees as an abstract mass. It is not by chance that the beautiful young woman of The other side reminds us of Vermeer – Dalva Duarte is critically playing with a tradition of art that would have excluded her as well as her subject – by using it for her own purpose.
Brothers and Sisters II:
Inside – La Folie
Mental aspect: disturbed body and mind awareness as significant of today´s world
The Soul of a king, watercolour, 152 x 101 cm
Dalva Duarte is not only interested in people “on the border“ of society, but also of themselves (which is not always separable). In a series of paintings she is examining the mental aspect of it: the disturbed body and mind awareness of persons usually called insane or crazy. She identifies with them as brothers and sisters “under the skin“ how writer Virginia Woolf once put it, trying to figure out a shared “strange“ state of mind as significant of today´s world, so in Spin (Sams´s internal parade) or in The Chaotic King, reminding one of some drug addict. The way she uses raster shows the medial reflection in her composition, also many shiftings and displacements (in German the word „Ver-rückungen“ relates to „verrückt“ meaning insane).
Her empathy is compared with an unmasking, but never judging analysis. So she focuses on the ambivalence of the frightening and seducing aspects of a disturbed mind: The almost cruel accuracy in the presentation of The pardon or Magic trick, supporting the confusing arrogant conspiracy in which sister and brother look at the contemplator – out of their own world, unpredictably. A closeness, by the way, which will play a great role in her work The 24 Caprices.
In this series we also find an allusion to Goya, the expert of man´s dark side, in Imprint of Time.