Douglas de Souza, (born in Blumenau, Brazil, 1984) lives and works in São Paulo -Brazil. He creates lively compositions in oil painting in order to turn into subject matter everyday life objects – such as swan pottery, motorcycles and car items – he manipulates digital images from various sources like vintage catalogues, image banks, pop culture and art history. The interest at first it’s in formal qualities, the pictoriality of painting and then the embodiment of those figures into a very direct image which becomes the work.
His education in art includes an unfinished BA (2016 - 2018) in Visual Arts at Faculdade Metropolitanas Unidas – FMU (São Paulo / BR) and five years attendance in classical painting school Cozinha da Pintura (São Paulo / BR).
“I like to think about my painting as a way of interconnecting what I experience in everyday life with imagery references from art history, social media and daily life objects. Through my work, I want to create links between these subjects, transforming them into a new reference. Once I visualize this new image in my mind, I begin to materialize it, sometimes through sketches and later with digital manipulation. After the image takes form, all concerns go into the making of the painting. From an in-depth imagery research process, which builds up and overlaps itself, I find myself in images like swans, cars and motorcycles, as they represent both my conceptual and pictorial interests and help me materialize these references for this body of work. The representation of glossy, polished and colorful surfaces and the formal composition are based on still-life Flemish baroque as well as illustrations, band posters, album covers, fashion and graphic design mixed as part of pop culture that makes me want to create this universe that would not exist otherwise. Oil painting, for me, speaks of time, labor and wait. When doing a figurative painting I am also concerned about what the figures contains no matter how straight-forward the images seem. There is an interest in this ambiguity in the paintings. The swan portrayed as a porcelain object, the motorcycle metal surface and the car headlight in a cutout that suggests an eye, are for me allegories about a gay experience of what masculinity is.
For this exhibition at IRL Gallery, what connects the paintings is the song “Don't rain on my parade” performed by Barbra Streisand, which speaks about moving forward. But for me, it also talks about the parade as this important event for the individual and collective celebration of LGBTQIA+ rights. In that place, we show ourselves as part of society, which is portrayed here through these bright and colorful figures on their parade floats.”