meet the pilots: Duane Bahia Benatti


Duane Bahia Benatti, Untitled 2015 acrylic on canvas 195 x 260 cm

Born in 1983 in Brazil, Duane Bahia Benatti is now based in Leipzig. He studied visual arts at FAAP in São Paulo graduating in 2010.  His research has led him to experiment with materials: creating his paintings by in turn juxtaposing dried layers of acrylics on canvas or constructing these disembodied sheets of paint as stand-alone pieces. Recently he also created his own recipes for handmade inks. We asked him three questions to get to know him better: about his relationship to the city, his work and, finally to play a rather mean game of ‘would you rather’.

How long have you been living in Leipzig? Do you have a favorite spot in the city?

I am in Leipzig since February.

I don’t have a favorite spot in the city.  At the beginning I was very shocked because I expected, in my Brazilian ignorance, that German cities were really organized and clean. I really like the houses, a lot of them look like, or better, they really are abandoned and falling down.

Both in your more figurative works and your abstract pieces there seem to be a fascination with the discarded, the fragmented: scraps of paint to illustrate scraps of life. The paintings you will be exhibiting in DIDIDIDIDIEH represent urban landscapes and still lifes that by the overlapping of different shapes and elements seem to suggest the viewer to look underneath.  Am I completely off track here? Or do you actually use debris, both figuratively and literally, as a metaphor?

Somehow this city with its abandoned buildings matches my understanding of painting: something fragile, a crisis, perhaps a failure. What is the meaning of the discarded things? That’s what I would like the spectators to ask themselves while they are looking at my paintings. Perhaps they don’t have a meaning, they just try to have one.

Last question, would you rather create something great with someone you despise or make something mediocre with someone you love?

This last question is too personal… but I think I’d rather create something great with someone I despise.

Come see Duane’s paintings during our next exhibition DIDIDIDIDIEH! opening Saturday 28th March from 3PM.