Dante Danyel

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"Maps of Tomorrow" is a ongoing cycle in progress. It tells the story of my enslaved ancestors who were taken to the Caribbean, to Brazil and to Louisiana.These Pieces indeed are meant to be seen as topographic maps. Maps of an unknown world, an uncertain future full of foreign countries, coasts and bodies of water.
These Africans had no idea where they were taken after they had been bought, sold and kidnapped. These women, men and children did not know if they would survive the transport and what was waiting for them at its destination.
I imagine that for them these unknown waters, shores and land masses where terrifying and mythical places, inhabited by devils, demons and ghosts.
The subject of the cycle has also an influence on the materials I work with. Aside acrylic paint, ink and waxes I also use herbs extracts, plants and soil, that are native to the westafrican countries my ancestors came from, and mix them into the paint. I also, just recently, started to name some of the pieces with old names from these countries
Maps of Tomorrow is not only the historical reappraisal of my ancestors story but it is also a critic towards a world in which more people are enslaved than ever before. No matter if we look at the American prison system where over 60 percent of the inmates are afro-americans eventhough only about 14 percent of the american population is black, or if we look at women forced into prostitution all over the world, african refugees enslaved in Lybia or children forced into child labour in third world countries.

December 2021

Dante Danyel

Atelier Dédé / Maps of Tomorrow

Danté-Danýel, the artist behind Atelier Dédé, is a multiracial painter and writer based in Europe.
Coming from an artistic family, he was enrolled in art classes and in art school from an early age.
He had his first solo exhibition at the age of thirteen, but due to trauma, stopped painting completely four years later. Instead, he turned to writing essays, short fiction, poetry and columns for European and American magazines and anthologies, which were honored with several literary awards.
In 2021 he started painting and creating artworks again to process his childhood trauma and PTSD, as well as his experiences with racism and loss.

Professor Marnik Baert / Academy of fine Arts in Antwerp:
Danté-Danýel´s work could be described as "lyrical or organic abstract". It has a certain warmth and depth to it that touches the observer and grips them at their very core.
His work is a great example of emotional abstraction. With his own variety of specific techniques, he transports his feelings and creates an image that combines dark memories of his past with experiences of the present as well as soft and warm visions of the future.
Occasionally these visions blend together and greater, thought-provoking dynamics emerge.
Like Rothko, Danté-Danýel´s monumental works take his audience into the personal world of the artist, a world in which we meet the survivor of abuse who fights his trauma, the young, dynamic warrior who stands up to his encounters with discrimintion and at the same time they meet the emotional, young dandy who seeks his way out of the dark

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