Daniela Chaves participates in the Verdandi project with her artworks in watercolor. The
35-year-old woman, who is from São Paulo has been in contact with the artistic milieu since
1999, initially working with ceramics. Daniela has gone through several aspects such as
sculpture, engraving (wood and metal), handmade photography, xerography (photocopies),
scenography and costumes, installation and currently develops works with illustration, using
materials such as graphite, ink pen, watercolor paint and brushes. The family and the
feminine are important questions and inspirations for the artist. In an interview with VHMOR,
Daniela tells us a little bit more about this importance.
« The drawing served me as a sketch, a way of expressing what was inside me and putting it
out. It was some years in this, until I became interested in the universe of the small pieces,
embroidery and sewing. Looking at my familiar history, mixing one technique with the other,
which led me to the unfolding of the drawing in its unique form of expression and no longer
more as an instrument. Besides that, the schools of the late nineteenth, twentieth century
and contemporaneity attracts me so much. The question of the feminine is so important to
me, and the history of my ancestors. »
For the artist, art is part of her essence, it is a form of connection with the past and a way of
expressing everything that she feels inside.
Below you can read the artist’s statement about her work:
« I was raised by women of my maternal family. These people were born in Eastern Europe
or direct descendants of them.
Throughout my life, my family got involved with handmade and creative practices, whether
for cooking, embroidery, sewing, paintings, more specific techniques such as Richelieu
embroidery, among many others. I grew up playing on the floor of my grandmother’s atelier.
This influence inside me is very strong. Growing up listening to the stories that brought them
to Brazil and their memories make me immerse in ancestry and reverberate in the form of
I started with ceramic handmade at the age of seventeen, unpretentiously, but by that time I
knew I could not go to any other way. Building something through the clay is a very valuable
lesson. It is necessary to design, elaborate, weave parts and to agglutinate them, to wait
their time, be patient and to complete the work with high quality and all the details. We did
work without electric lathe, in the old fashioned way.
This experience shaped me to design and build things, which led me to study architecture
and the desire to work with scenarios. I gave up the course a while later and change for the
visual arts course.
During those years I came in contact with a lot of techniques, I was transforming the
three-dimensional constructions into two-dimensional constructions. Working with
installations and objects, appropriations, spaces and places, also inserting the familiar
influence of artisanal making, brought me here. Today I am very interested in
two-dimensional construction, and no longer using drawing only as an instrument, but as an
end. The softness and lightness of the watercolor, mixed with the strength of the ink or
graphite pencil, and sometimes mixing it all with an embroidery, whether on a paper, a tissue
or a cardboard, is what attracts me.
Everything that is inside of me, is mingling and revealing itself gradually. Sometimes in more
specific themes, such as the experience of my family, and sometimes as the interest in the
feminine aspect, nature, construction, deconstruction. »
Daniela Chaves is one of those artists who show passion in the work she develops. The
delicacy and force present in her artworks make the spectator stop for a moment and admire
each brushstroke in order to understand and enter this world created by Daniela.
Original text and adaptation: Bárbara Gual
Revision: Lívia Fernandes