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Incomplete Biography: Interview with Antonio Dias

With a healthy dose of humor, the Brazilian artist Antonio Dias explores the challenges and absurdities of his artistic career and comments poetically on his life’s work. Now in his late 60s, Dias generously shares stories of his early years in Rio, Paris, and Milan; his surprise at the dearth of women in Milan’s art scene compared to Rio’s; and his apprenticeship with master printmaker Oswaldo Goeldi. He also shares his early concerns about the commodification of his work and talks about his experiences in Brazil during the dictatorship. In particular, Dias discusses his series The Illustration of Art and the work The Invented Country, which was recently acquired by The Museum of Modern Art. The interview was conducted at Dias’s home and studio in Copacabana during the C-MAP Latin America Group research trip to Brazil in November 2012.

The five chapters of this interview, "Early Days in Rio, Paris, and Milan," "The Illustration of Art," "The Invented Country," "'Art is something for interacting with others,'" and "Printmaking with Oswaldo Goeldi," will be rolled out over a period of five weeks. Check "FOLLOW" to be notified of future installments and "DISCUSS" to leave your comments.

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Antonio Dias

Artist Antonio Dias was born in 1944 in Campina Grande, Paraíba, and lives and works between Rio de Janeiro and Milan. Antonio Dias’ early career, back in the 1960s, consisted of... Read more »
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Lilian Tone

Assistant Curator, Painting and Sculpture The Museum of Modern Art Lilian Tone is Assistant Curator in the Department of Painting and Sculpture at The Museum of Modern Art. She received a BA from the Law School of The University of São... Read more »
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Incomplete Biography: Interview with Antonio Dias

With a healthy dose of humor, the Brazilian artist Antonio Dias explores the challenges and absurdities of his artistic career and comments poetically on his life’s work. Now in his late 60s, Dias generously shares stories of his early years in Rio, Paris, and Milan; his surprise at the dearth of women in Milan’s art scene compared to Rio’s; and his apprenticeship with master printmaker Oswaldo Goeldi. He also shares his early concerns about the commodification of his work and talks about his experiences in Brazil during the dictatorship. In particular, Dias discusses his series The Illustration of Art and the work The Invented Country, which was recently acquired by The Museum of Modern Art. The interview was conducted at Dias’s home and studio in Copacabana during the C-MAP Latin America Group research trip to Brazil in November 2012.

The five chapters of this interview, "Early Days in Rio, Paris, and Milan," "The Illustration of Art," "The Invented Country," "'Art is something for interacting with others,'" and "Printmaking with Oswaldo Goeldi," will be rolled out over a period...

Show More

With a healthy dose of humor, the Brazilian artist Antonio Dias explores the challenges and absurdities of his artistic career and comments poetically on his life’s work. Now in his late 60s, Dias generously shares stories of his early years in Rio, Paris, and Milan; his surprise at the dearth of women in Milan’s art scene compared to Rio’s; and his apprenticeship with master printmaker Oswaldo Goeldi. He also shares his early concerns about the commodification of his work and talks about his experiences in Brazil during the dictatorship. In particular, Dias discusses his series The Illustration of Art and the work The Invented Country, which was recently acquired by The Museum of Modern Art. The interview was conducted at Dias’s home and studio in Copacabana during the C-MAP Latin America Group research trip to Brazil in November 2012.

The five chapters of this interview, "Early Days in Rio, Paris, and Milan," "The Illustration of Art," "The Invented Country," "'Art is something for interacting with others,'" and "Printmaking with Oswaldo Goeldi," will be rolled out over a period of five weeks. Check "FOLLOW" to be notified of future installments and "DISCUSS" to leave your comments.

Antonio Dias Part 1: Early Days in Rio, Paris and Milan

Antonio Dias Part 2: Illustration of Art

Antonio Dias Part 3: Invented Country

Antonio Dias, Part 4: Final Art from C-MAP_MoMA on Vimeo.

Antonio Dias, Part 4: Final Art

Antonio Dias, Part 5: Printmaking from C-MAP_MoMA on Vimeo.

Antonio Dias, Part 5: Printmaking

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Incomplete Biography: Interview with Antonio Dias

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I think his work and the way he uses the ideia of softness is a strong response to Pop Art. Dias and Oswaldo Goeldi, his professor, are very important to understand how the Brazilian Art could be understand not into a "sunny" perspective but as something dark, dense, pessimistic and specially on Dias's work very ironic.

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I think his work and the way he uses the ideia of softness is a strong response to Pop Art. Dias and Oswaldo Goeldi, his professor, are very important to understand how the Brazilian Art could be understand not into a "sunny" perspective but as...

Show more »

Posted on 2 Feb

‘Softness’, as Felipe Scovino suggests, is a feature that appears in various Pop-related works including Marta Minujin’s Colchones or Teresa Burga’s female figures. I am very interested in establishing a connection between ’softness’ and the notion of ‘corporeality’- an avenue into the matrix of such darkness and pessimism.

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‘Softness’, as Felipe Scovino suggests, is a feature that appears in various Pop-related works including Marta Minujin’s Colchones or Teresa Burga’s female figures. I am very interested in establishing a connection between ’softness’ and the...

Show more »

Softness

Posted on 3 Feb

Dear Sofia, I agree with you. I think Anna Maria Maiolino's work, specially her work named as "Glu, Glu, Glu" (1966), could join this group. During 1960's and 70's we had a large group experimenting the idea of softness (such as Yves Klein, Piero Manzoni, Claes Oldenburg, etc), but I think while Oldenburg's work, for instance, it's a "softness non-touchable" or rigid or a metaphor for the idea of softness, Dia's works established a "softness touchable". But, who will touch in "penis" or "scrotum" metaphorized on his works? So, I think while Oldenburg has a response to mass media society, Antonio Dias's works were working the idea to cheat the censorship in Brazil to discuss sex and violence. Both of them based on softness, with different perspectives, and how the art could become more political.

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Dear Sofia, I agree with you. I think Anna Maria Maiolino's work, specially her work named as "Glu, Glu, Glu" (1966), could join this group. During 1960's and 70's we had a large group experimenting the idea of softness (such as Yves Klein, Piero...

Show more »

Art/Tapes

Posted on 16 Mar

What a wonderful little anecdotal detail about Bill Viola being at Art/Tapes when he and others were doing their videos there. The Illustration of Art on the Use Of Multimedia: Rats Music & Banana for Two was included in the 1975 Video Art show at ICA, as was a video done by Viola before he went to Italy.

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What a wonderful little anecdotal detail about Bill Viola being at Art/Tapes when he and others were doing their videos there. The Illustration of Art on the Use Of Multimedia: Rats Music & Banana for Two was included in the 1975 Video Art...

Show more »