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Artist Statement

Daniel Donato is curious about investigating self-portraiture and the display of identity. He attempts this through costume-wearing as a character-building process under the narration of scandals in the Catholic Church. His research started on the individual case that was comprised by Cardinal Carlo-Maria Vigano accusing Cardinal Theodore McCarrick of over 20 years of child molestation and money laundering. And his most recent subject is the Friar. His Friar serves as a symbol of response to all Catholics during a time of non-transparency from both perspectives about the Church canon versus humility. -These 2 perspectives are the clerics and the everyday Catholic. Taking on the Friar and creating a psychological scene that conveys the act of reflecting and questioning one own religious belief with the expectation of sharing the blame of scandals. -Fasting, self-infliction behavior, claiming chastity, and devoting energy to prayer are reminders that the Catholics need more solidarity amongst their communities to avoid group spiritual damnation. His process stems from reading and looking at Italian Renaissance paintings for inspiration of iconography of gazes, gestures, and objects. Wearing a costume Friar robe and attempting to behave like a Friar helps him take on its character. It is only through this character building process that he can genuinely feel that he is creating an attitude for his desire image. After posing in front of a camera, the photograph gets translated into drawings, prints, and paintings.


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