A creative spot for mind and body

There isn't a more fascinating and magical place than an art studio. It is here that artists create new ideas, make sketches and experiment with new techniques. Let's take a look in the universe of Daniel Cabral.

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"I'm always changing my studio. When my mood changes, so does the studio and how I want it to be." 

Did you ever find the need to switch your studio or find a completely new one? What was the reason for this?

In the case of the studio at AAIR in Antwerp, it was a temporary situation where I was offered a residency for three months where I could both work and live. This helped a lot with the commuting from Brussels, where I actually live. However, because I have been working and studying in Antwerp for the past 2 years, commuting has become hard and unmotivating in the long run. So, now that the residency is over, I decided to find a completely new studio closer to home in Brussels, where I've recently moved in.

How do you create an inspirational environment in your studio?

I organize it (laughs)! The studio will get messy for sure, but my main strategy when I'm having a creative block is to put it all back to their corresponding places and then mess it up again.

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During which time of the day are you most likely present in the studio?

I can be in my studio all day long. I enjoy getting there around 10 or 11 o'clock and work until 19 or 20 o'clock. During confinement times I would also exercise and dance in the studio, which is why you’ll see a yoga mat, resistance bands and dumbbells laying around. They have become part of my research but also a way to keep sane during these hard times of isolation.

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Are there elements that you would like to change in your studio?

I am always changing my studio. When my mood changes, so does the studio and how I want it to be (it also happens a lot at home to the displeasure of my partner). But overall, I try to avoid clutter and leave a lot of space to move around. My practice has become more and more immaterial, so I am very often on the computer or recording videos of performances with the camera in the studio.

Do you invite people into your studio? Do you allow visitors?

Absolutely. As I work solo most of the time, having a studio where I can interact with other artists and visitors is one of the main reasons for keeping a studio outside of home. I love being able to shut myself out whenever I need to. Although I must admit that the coincidental encounters that occur, are very rewarding to me.

Is it silent in your studio?

Apart from when the artists in the studio above me are playing badminton, it’s very quiet. But I do listen to music, podcasts and watch videos all day long as I work. When I exercise or dance in it, music is played very loudly.

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Do you immediately start work once you arrive in your studio?

When I arrive, I usually tend to the average “business of the day” situation: emails, messages, social media, paperwork, etc., usually on the computer. I move to my artworks once that is done, mostly in the afternoon or in the evening, when I edit videos or draw. But I can't start the day without organizing the mess I left the day before. So, I take care of that before I begin the actual work.

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Is there any special or unique object in your studio? What is the most important item in your studio?

I work a lot with audiovisual, so definitely computer and recording gear will always be on view. But my exercise equipment is the new addition which actually looks very out of place in an art studio to a lot of my visitors. But they’ve become tools and props to many of my most recent video works.

What is currently hanging on the walls in your studio?

My watercolor series “Milestones” (2019-2020). It is the work I showed at my master graduation in Sint Lucas Antwerp, which was actually the piece that led the jury of the AAIR Wild Card to preselect me for the residency at AAIR in 2021, where I had the studio for three months at the old Dominican monastery.

  • interview
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  • AAIR
Ploegstraat 23, 2018 Antwerpen