top of page

Artist Talk 
Daniel Dobarco

10 March, 2023

By: Tal Levy

Intallation Lore, Espacio Luna, Valencia, Spain, cardboard sculptures.jpg

Installation Lore, Espacio Luna, Valencia, Spain, cardboard sculptures.

Tell us about yourself.

Hi, my real name is Daniel Álvarez Álvarez, Dobarco is my dad’s second last name. I’m from Castellón, a Spanish Mediterranean city, but my family is from Galicia, in northern Spain. That’s why I chose my father’s last name.

Why am I telling you all of this? I don’t know.

Where did your passion for art begin?

I remember that day very well. I had started to take drawing classes in a school some time ago. A teacher recommended my mother to sign me up since I was always drawing, but for me it was just a game. One day my drawing teacher told me to choose a foil to copy it. That was the first day I was going to oil paint. Then I found The Starry Night, by Van Gogh, and something clicked in my mind. I realized painting wasn’t just reproducing reality, there was something else. I’ll never forget that feeling.

My goal is to make some little devil feel that when they see my work.

How would you describe your work to someone?

My work is certainly contaminated by the world of video games, but what I’m really interested in the carnivalesque world (I recommend reading Bajtín, Corderch and Stoichiță). I like to disguise the ideas that come to my mind, to address the issues of thinking, philosophy and religion from a tragicomic perspective. In order to do this, I decided to create my own world, based on contemporary mythology. I like to play with opposites, the beautiful and the ugly, the sacred and the profane, or the monstrous and the classical beauty. By this I mean, for example, the poses sometimes I like to put my monsters in to portray that space of intimacy that remains between the work of a henchman and their free time, as if it was a stolen picture or if I had invited them to pose for me. The discomfort that can be generated by turning things upside down, altering values, I think that finds new ways of seeing the world and at the end of the day we are all a little bit orcs, ghosts, wizards and catapults.

'Too Much', 2022

Acrylic and oil on canvas

162 x 130 cm

What are you currently working on?

I’m currently continuing with this world that I decided to name ‘Cruzeta’. I chose this name because of the cross on the gaming controllers, and it also sounds like ‘crusade’ in Spanish. It’s a world where things similar to ours happen, but in a much more exaggerated way. I’ve been working on this project 3 years, but it is now when I feel more confident about it, I think I’m finally managing to inhabit it and give it shape.

But a world, by its nature, is always half done, so I feel this is going to be a lifelong work.

'Daylight Moon Pond', 2022

Acrylic and oil on canvas

200 x 150 cm

When you start a new work or project, do you plan what you’re going to create or do you improvise? 

It’s always a little bit of both. Sometimes I make sketches, but then when I put them into practice they change because something else comes to my mind. Sometimes I prefer to do the faces on the spot on the canvas with the airbrush, so that it’s something loose and unexpected. Other times I decide to keep a sketch for a long time to be sure that I will continue to like that painting over time, and many of them are never more than a sketch. I often face the blank canvas and paint the idea I just imagined. What I do know is that I’m constantly thinking about the idea, I’m always thinking about the project, brooding over it. I suffer and enjoy it equally.

Can you highlight some of your influences and discuss how your influences have made an impact on you and your practice?

I have many influences from painting, cinema, music, video games and literature. But who really impacted me the most, in all senses, are the artists with whom I have shared a studio: Gema Quiles, Juan de Dios Morenilla, Carlos Pesudo, Alex Gambín and Luis de la Fuente. I cannot express how much they gave me — their time, their experience, the countless conversations, everything we lived together has transformed my way of thinking, who I am and therefore what I do. They are such a persuasive bastards.

What are your plans for the remainder of this year?

I’ve been incredibly lucky to have received a grant in my city to go to the art residency GlogauAIR, in Berlin, for 6 months. So I hope to work like crazy and set up a cool installation with my paintings and sculptures, and also enjoy this incredible city that I love so much, meet other artists and dance.

'They surround themselves with plants and vases of flowers, it makes me wanna cry', 2023

Acrylic and oil on canvas

180 x 130 cm

bottom of page