Interview by Javier Melian for www.thepalettepages.com
My name is Javier Melian (@jmelianuk in Tweeter), a London based art lover that shares street art and outsider art mainly through social media.
I accidentally found this portrait in Twitter, one of the hundreds of pictures I see on a daily basis. However, this one really impacted me. I contemplated it for a long while, not knowing who the subject of the painting was, however I did feel a story, a struggle, dignity and conviction.
The portrait was titled “Kasha”. I googled her; she is Ugandan LGBT rights activist Kasha Jacqueline Nabagesera. She has publicly campaigned for an end to homophobia in Uganda, where homosexuality is illegal. In 2010, Ugandan newspaper Rolling Stone published the photographs and names of people it claimed to be gay, under the headline “Hang Them”. The names and photographs included those of Nabagesera and her colleague David Kato. The pair eventually sued the tabloid, and in doing so set a benchmark for human rights in Uganda.
Kato was later killed following the legal battle with the publication. Nabagasera has continued the fight for gay rights in Uganda. She has fought to decriminalize homosexuality in Uganda by circumventing the Ugandan Anti-Homosexuality Bill; a bill which mandates stiff sentences ranging from prison sentences to the death penalty. Furthermore the bill mandates that citizens who do not expose gay and lesbians to the authorities, face up to 3 years in jail. I was surprised, to be fair, how this beautiful painting gave me the soul of a person, and her story, in a nanosecond, in the unspoken language of Art.
I immediately wanted to know who the artist was. It turned out to be a young fellow Spaniard called Daniel Dalopo, based on a village in the heart of Andalucia called Casariche, the center of an imaginary square between the beautiful cities of Seville, Malaga, Cordoba and Granada.
He was born on April 28, 1990 in Seville. From an early age he developed a taste for painting. His entire childhood was spent in Casariche where from very early days he stood out for his drawings at school; he even designed the school emblem. At 15 and painted his early works like “Life” or “Tuna and chocolate” At 17 and he moved to live in Seville where he studied print making. During this time he painted several nudes. He is clearly influenced by the Spanish great masters, like Picasso or Dali, The bulk of his work so far has been produced since 2009. He tirelessly defends human rights through his work, and gives a voice to all social issues he considers unfair or inconsistent. In 2011 he joined the School of Arts in Seville. In addition to painting, he makes sculptures in clay and other materials. He is currently having a stub at Street Art too, to continue spreading his human rights and social message.
He is a young man of few words, his work, as you can see, speaks for itself.
Self taught or art school?
Although I studied at the School of Arts in Seville, I consider myself self-taught as I’ve been painting since primary school.
If you could own one work of art what would it be?
Picasso’s “Guernica”; since childhood I was impressed by it and although there are many other works that have caught my attention ever since, none has had the effect that “Guernica” caused on me the first time I saw it.
How would u describe your style?
Although you can clearly appreciate in my work the influence of artists that I admire, I think I still could not label my style to any particular artistic movement.
Where are your favourite places to view art?
Art is everywhere; you just need to know how to look for it.
Who are your favorite artists and why?
As I said before, Picasso is the artist that has influenced me the most, but only his work. However the word ‘artist’ encompasses much more than that, and in that sense my favorite artist is Jose Perez Ocaña, as for me he is an artist in every way, his whole life was his work.
What or who inspires your art?
I am inspired by people, their behaviors and attitudes toward life, the human figure and face, in their actions, in their torments and contradictions in their fears, in their infinite desires …
Where’s your studio and what’s it like?
My studio is in Casariche, Seville, and as a picture is worth a thousand words. This is my studio …
Do you have any studio rituals?
I have no ritual or procedure when using the studio.
What are you working on currently?
Lately I’m working on portraits of human rights activists and preparing forthcoming street art projects .
Where can we buy your art?
My works can be purchased by contacting me through my art website www.dalopo.com
@danielDALOPO in Tweeter
What are your ambitions?
Now my main ambition is to make a living with my art, leave my country and make my work known elsewhere and thus be enriched both personally and artistically from other cultures.