Photographic Drawings

14 November 2019 - 6 January 2020

Photographic Drawings



In a colour and volume study, the "Photographic Drawings" series follows the concept of the spontaneous gesture of Zen philosophy.

Drops of ink are conducted on a small surface of 4 cm and immediately photographed with a macro lens in search of the three-dimensionality and the register of light and shadow. The image is finished in large format prints by altering the scale of these chromatic volumes.


When reaching a non-rational plane in a search of negative spaces and the relationship between the masses and colour, asymmetry and minimalism, the compositions often overflow the limit of the margin and background.


Within the ZEN philosophy, the action takes place in the present and the register of this quick event, where the still wet and fresh paint reflects the light and occupies the third dimension even though it is contained in the two-dimensional plane of the photographic surface.


With the influence of the symbolic content of the signs and the unconscious, the body of work of this series contemplates and aligns the oriental simplicity and the search for amazement in the visual phenomenon of the third dimension to our direct gaze.

Running counter to reality representation, Daniel Mattar's photography production intends to be painting. Current techniques, state-of-the-art lens and cameras and chromogenic printing would allow Daniel to present glimpses of a stunning technological world. Instead, he focus on traditional paints, lines, colors and collages. Old school things? Or an aggiornamento of time, adjusting it to layers of history?

Daniel's production reveals to be full of paradoxes between technology and tradition, dimension and volume. The camera´s lens focus on inch wide details and transforms this mini-world of colors and shapes into 6.5 ft wide enlargements. The inside (immensely) brought outside. 

Leonel Kaz,journalist and curator

"The work of Daniel Mattar is done with the intelligence of the eye in command of emotion. By observation and reflection we are sure that the simple is more, and becomes universal. His painted symbols can be appreciated on the island of Crete, in Juazeiro, in Kyoto or Lisbon. His work is an invitation to rest and intelligence being on a wall that takes the subject out of the hostilities of the world, wherever he is."

João Carlos Moura , artist

The work of the artist Daniel Mattar, finds itself at some point between the precision of a camera and experience of a gesture; between the cleanness of printing and dirtiness
of ink; between the mysterious alchemy of colors and its contemporary and global version.

The result challenges us as these almost antagonistic readings overlap, allowing a glimpse
of discarded ideas and choices - like a pentimento.

Denise Mattar, curator

The work of the photographer and plastic artist Daniel Mattar is recorded in both these subjects and from there reinvents itself in a new language, with singular grammar and universe of astonishing features,
since they appear new, unadvised and without rules to start off, in the creative act.
The whole action is developed in a 1,6 square inch surface, in solitude.
Here, the ink and paper are the main characters, manipulated, twisted,driven.

Rui Guerreiro, curator