About Dario Silva
Dario Silva renders surreal three-dimensional kinetic sculptures using sheet metal. His usage of rivets to create the kinetic attributes gives his work life, and the utilization of the patination process to transform the color of metal makes the creations idiosyncratic. There is a combination of imagination with life when Dario works; real-world insects and crustaceans are his imperative theme. He uses the pseudo-scientific word ‘insectoid’ to describe his monsters, as insectoids can be either crustaceans or insects.
He began taking an interest in art at a young age, by the age of 10 he started sketching imaginative, monster-like creations. Despite his original plan to become an architect or an engineer, his creative impulses took over and he followed the path to fine art. He stopped making 2-dimensional art by the age of 18 and started playing around with three dimensional concepts. There was a tremendous feeling of satisfaction working with three-dimensional art, a feeling he never got sketching strictly on paper. Before entering the realm of metalsmithing he worked strictly with foam core and poster board.
Dario Started taking Metal classes at Kean University for his BFA in metals and jewelry, it was there that he got his BFA degree. While at Kean Dario discovered the patination process, the transformation of metallic colors. He works exclusively in copper, nugold and nickel. All these metals when treated with boric acid, and given the patina treatment, can change the colors on their surfaces. Each metal reacts differently to the patination process, creating this dynamic color pallet at his disposal when engendering his art. Its these very compelling colors brought up by the patination process that keeps Dario’s surreal artistic vision alive and working, enabling a never-ending desire for his very automatist and kinetic creations.
2018 BFA Student Show, (solo exhibition) Student Art Gallery, Kean University, Union NJ.
2018 Master Works, James Howe Gallery, Kean University, Union, NJ
I utilize sheets of metal and traditional jewelry/metal techniques to create small, kinetic sculptures inspired by various insect forms. They are organic in nature and a combination of elements taken from both crustaceans and insects, I give them the pseudo-scientific name of insectoid; combination of the two species. The final pieces are fictional creations that are rustic, yet paradoxically colorful.
The process by which I give my work color involves eliciting a chemical reaction that transforms the sheet metal from a dull copper, nugold, or nickel color, into sheets of multifarious hues. When Borax is placed on the sheet metal, and heated to just below the melting temperature where the metal is glowing orange and red, and quenched in water immediately afterwards, colors are rendered. This process is called patination. The kinetic joints are riveted and the metal is hand formed by hammering/chasing.
Making creatures from sheet metal is part of me idealizing insectoids, as metal is tough and powerful, while these creatures from real life are weak and vulnerable. I idealize them and make them better with my designs, so they are whimsical in their final appearance. Metal is a perfect way to propel insectoids above their real-life fragility and have them immortalized by the gaze of the audience.