Q&A/  Daniel Nicolaevsky

Ana Carolina Rodarte

Daniel Nicolaevsky: art to baptize yourself

There are those who are slightly tired of what they chose to investigate in life, but Daniel Nicolaevsky turned towards art with the same gaze as someone who is tender at first sight. The visual artist and performer was born in Rio de Janeiro, but today he takes his machinery - corporeal and visual - to different corners of France. His art is filled with themes that can hit us right between the ribs and, even so, he presents them with the softness of someone who has baptized themselves with their own love. In 4 (a) ch/cords (2019), he teamed up with singer Eva Medin to talk about attachment. In the recent “il suffit d'un grand lit pour que toutes les couleurs du monde trouvent du repos” [“a large bed is enough for all the colors in the world to find rest”], he investigates one of those forgotten objects that hide within the dreams. And he's been doing more, luckily for us. Stick, for now, with his words:

Three first words and two primer numbers:

Daniel Nicolaevsky Maria, 29 years,  Rio de Janeiro,  Brasil.

Where are you from? City, State and Country.

I was born in Rio de Janeiro, no Brasil. I left there when I was 21 to 22, and from then on I lived, most of the time, in France, spent some time in Los Angeles, and traveled a lot.

And where are you based atm? City, State and Country.

I live in Ivry-sur-Seine, on the suburbs of Paris, called “Banlieu Parisienne” or “94”.

What are your artistics strands?

I make art so as not to die after my morning alarm. Sometimes I draw, sometimes I paint, the art for me goes with the format that encompasses it. The background highlights the soul of the word circumscribed in the medium. Dance and performance are forms that I like, the frontal nude of the body in the viewer's face showing the deepest intimacy. I also like poetry, but I hardly show them.

What is your artistic motivation?

Understand why I’m here. And why am I still alive. Perhaps it is a vector so that other people can continue wanting the struggle of living.

What is your main research?

I like attachment. I was interested in that first, in this strange feeling that binds us all. I then researched the French psychoanalyst based in the USA, René Spitz, and the British John Bowlby. All their research led me to a strong desire to see in pictures the "lien de parenté" (French term for "ties"). How we treat the future generation, the sacred role of the mother and the skin, the touch, the psychomotor development.

Do you have any sort of references? Which?

I like the burden that the British Steve McQueen (the artist, not the actor) decided to carry; "Twelve years of slavery", "Bear" and his plastic work too. I studied with Emmanuelle Huynh during my BFA and MFA at Beaux-Arts in Paris. His pedagogy and dance are incredible; the philosophy connected with a psychomotor conscience made me want to dance even more. I then studied Lia Rodrigues, Wagner Schwartz, Boris Charmatz and Nora Chipaumire.
I had the chance to do the Camping at the Center Nationale de la Danse with Tino Sehgal and Ralph Lemon. Both inspiring works by crossing visual arts with contemporary dance. I decided that that was what I wanted to do.

Where can we find your work online?