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Dan Attoe

404 Arte Contemporanea

In his first European solo exhibition, American artist Dan Attoe portrayed his inner life and his cultural milieu in twenty-five paintings (all works 2004). Trained in both psychology and visual art, he reveals childhood memories and dreams in small cinematic scenes with handwritten captions spoken by characters who seem to be working through deep emotional issues. The paintings are often set in sublime, distinctively American natural landscapes that are so impressive, almost heroic, that they become characters in the scenarios. Underlying these remarkable yet ordinary situations is a sense of uneasiness—and even a touch of Twin Peaks–style surrealism—conveyed through sickeningly vivid colors dominated by cold blues, greens, and yellows, as well as by the deadpan texts and desperate expressions of the subjects.

Sometimes comical and cartoonlike, sometimes mysterious and foreboding, Attoe’s

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