Daniela Melo grew up in the Rio de Janeiro of the 1970's. After studying painting and later fashion design in Portugal she moved to Paris where she worked for various fashion houses as a designer.
In 2016 she changed course and began to pursue primarily her personal work.
Melo's artwork refers to the discourse of fashion and explores a precise field of its underlying currents such as aestheticized sexuality, gender roles, eroticism and identity. She appropriates images from magazines and personal archives, adds layers, and shifts context through a wide range of mediums such as oil, charcoal, etchings and collages. Titles and words play an important role.
Her subjects are raw and glamorous. They picture erotic scenes of obsessive desire, exhibitionist acts, narcissistic attitudes, power relations and role play. The intensity of emotions is heightened with strong contrasts, juxtaposing violence and poetry, dominance and submission, realism and phantasm.
Her influences include Guillaume Apollinaire, Guy Bourdin, Lewis Carroll, Luis Buñuel, J.P. Rameau, le Marquis de Sade, Helmut Newton, Virginie Despentes, Chris von Wangenheim and Erik Satie.
She considers herself a bastard child of the surrealistic movement, believes in the appropriation and integration of whatever she borrows into her own work, disallows the supremacy of the concept and assets her artwork as visual auto fiction.
‘Je me regarde dans ce miroir Et c’est toi que je vois Et je te baise Et tu me baises sur le FRONT.’ (Lettres à Lou, Guillaume Apollinaire)