Devil’s World

Daniela Flint

An Artsy-exclusive presentation.
October 11 – November 15, 2021

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Flynn Fine Art is pleased to announce Devil’s World, an Artsy-exclusive presentation of new paintings by Dallas-based artist Daniela Flint. The eleven paintings in this exhibition are an exercise in deconstructing contemporary notions of value and authenticity through nostalgic quotations of pop culture, the history of painting and the artist’s own experiences growing up Brazilian-American.

Flint begins this exercise by pitting monetary worth against emotional value. At first glance Flint’s paintings display a child-like urgency. Upon further reflection, the paintings offer themselves as tongue-in-cheek critiques of how we derive value from objects and experiences. In Quilted Ghost Flint paints a simple portrait of a child in an offbeat, homemade Halloween costume, something quickly and decidedly made by a parent who lacked either the ingenuity or resources to contrive another. In Self Portrait, Flint has made herself a devil costume. Both figures don their odd attire confidently, confronting the viewer head-on amidst swaths of geometric tiling. While these paintings question the value of handmade versus mass-produced goods, they also underscore two forms of phantom labor, that of the parent and that of the artist.

The artist continues with a study of reproduction, as in the flower still lifes, a spin on the Baroque painting tradition of depicting exotic goods as a commentary on personal wealth. Cachaça replaces these status symbols with a bottle of Brazilian rum and a patterned quilt, items of emotional value for the Brazilian-American artist. Futebol Flor uses a papier-mâché vase the artist made and painted to look like a soccer ball in place of delicate porcelains and luxury glass. Flower Study presents a sparse bouquet of common store-bought flowers. These works play further with painting traditions in their faux painted wooden tabletops. Faux painting is a labor-intensive technique artists have traditionally employed to replicate complex textures or scenes. Flint has characteristically inserted her own fast styling into this tradition to elicit deeper conversations on labor.

Flint’s study culminates in her prolific use of the devil character who, in the artist’s lexicon is, “always the bad guy…[he] appears when there are questions of morality.” This devil character is often Flint in her homemade devil costume, and is used to question the labor of creation. This is extrapolated in Flint’s unusual reproductions of period masters that question the tradition of students copying masterworks in order to learn painting techniques. The Devil’s Dance, showing five dancing female devils, is after Henri Matisse’s The Dance (1910). Andrew Wyeth’s Cristina’s World (1948) is represented in Flint’s idiosyncratic spin, Devil’s World. Judith and Holofernes expands this aspect. An approximation in name and form of Artemisia Gentileschi’s famous Judith Beheading Holofernes (c. 1620), the work depicts the diabolical Flint as both heroic Judith and drunken Holofernes; the empowered woman and the emasculated patriarch. By replacing the powerful female figure with herself impersonating the penultimate male hedonist, Flint attempts to usurp the patriarch’s control of the art market and the market’s control of the artist.

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About Daniella Flint
Daniela Flint (b. 1994) is a Brazilian-American conceptual artist using reproduction and replication as a means to challenge perceptions of value, identity and authenticity. Identifying four major forms of value - utilitarian, monetary, decorative and emotional - Flint’s subject matter ranges from Brazilian snacks and local bodegas to items purchased on eBay, to a homemade Devil costume worn while painting. Furthering her ideas on labor and making, Flint’s Devil costume series uses a homemade halloween costume to structure what she calls counterfeit nostalgia, distancing the maker from the object (and the object’s end-user) to question the labor of creation. Daniela Flint was born and raised in New England, and studied painting at Maine College of Art. The artist currently resides in Dallas, TX.


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