Dario Manjete | Mozambique

Dario Paulino Manjate, is a Mozambican born artist, currently living in South Africa, who began painting and drawing as early as he can remember. He relocated to Alexandra Township in South Africa during the year of 1993. It was here where Dario grew to love art and pushed himself to pursue a career as a professional artist. Dario met and worked with Mr. Steve Mavusu, Mr. Mavusu was an art teacher at THUSONG YOUTH CENTRE during this period. Under Mr. Mavusu’s guidance Dario developed his artistic skills in a number of different mediums from oil to watercolour and acrylic painting as well as the medium he is now know for today; collage.

During this time, Dario participated in various community projects such as, “Work To Win,” an environmental awareness project which included several art murals created to uplift his surrounding township community. These particular pieces focused on a topic very close to the artist’s heart. They created awareness around the dangers of pollution and global warming.

Dario enrolled at ARTISTS PROOF STUDIO in 1998 to further his artistic skills by studying the techniques of printmaking such as: Drypoint; Lino Cut; Silkscreen and monotype to name a few.

Dario’s Curriculum Vitae includes many commissioned pieces by a variety of organizations and corporate companies. He continues to bring his unique approach to the formation of his collages and thus his work is sort after for its extraordinary qualities.

Is the winner of the Freedom of Expression Art Competition ( Gaulloises Blondes) in 1996, in Johannesburg.

About Dario’s Collages

The medium I am working with is collage. I have played around and explored this medium, learning the limits that I can push it to. My artworks are unique in that unlike most collage artists I do not tear my paper and build an image out of colour tones, I cut out every piece. I started by tearing and using other material to activate the canvas however, through my process I discovered that building my images out of cut out objects cut created a beautiful harmony between my medium and my concept.

I use recycled magazines as my source, as I feel this specific paper gives me the quality and subject matter I require. The glossy look and feel of the paper along with the message the magazines carry lends to the overall theme of my art.

Conceptually my art breaks down and unpacks the very foundations our society is built on today. By physically cutting out and removing objects from their intended context I begin to build up profiles and identities for my subjects.

Our society today is built around consumerism. A person is no longer known by who they characteristically are but rather by what they possess. Humanity is constructed from the very items it creates.

From afar these portraits look beautiful however, upon closer inspection, the volume of material items begins to overwhelm, creating an atmosphere of obsession and greed. This characteristic of the artwork’s make up reveals the grotesque nature of what is seen as beautiful in today’s time.

By using magazine cut outs I gain the effect of a glossy surfaces. Which begins to reflect on the concept of how appealing wealth is and yet how fragile its reliability is.

When you look at my art I require my audience to look at their lives and what they use to identify and define who they are. To reflect on how they exhibit themselves to the public eye.

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