* All images used with permission. Please do not distribute without first contacting the artist.
Daniela Montanari was born in Varese, Italy, in 1969. After art school, she graduated in architecture at the Milan Polytechnic, majoring in Protection and recovery of historical and architectural heritage. In 2002, after finishing twice among the finalists of Arte Mondadori Prize, she gave up architectural design to devote herself exclusively to hyperrealist painting.
Daniela explains her work by saying, “I paint mainly young women, with whom I identify. Each painting becomes the extension of the other as if they were part of one story. The portraits symbolize my psyche and are closely tied to my emotions, stating, in this way, the priority of the subject and feeling. The characters, all belonging to my crowd, are built through a long series of photos fused together. The resulting designs are successively painted on canvas in scenes that combine references to contemporary elements and to classical painting. Real elements are filtered through computer processing until made almost unrecognizable, exalting the mysterious side with the exasperation of the shading and detail. Each portrait is therefore the condensation of multiple images and reveals an existential tension that, in recent works, is also reflected in the language of symbols. The painting emerges from current events as well as from memory, but also from images of people that come from our artistic tradition. In this way the painting becomes familiar, and its interior space becomes a place of memory. Each portrait is a self-portrait, of imperfection, of impermanence, and my sense of melancholy. Every painting is a journey to another life, jumping to the continuous search of themselves, so many lives for a single story.”