Guido Daniele (born 1950) is an award-winning artist from Soverato, Italy. Daniele graduated from Brera School of Arts in 1972, majoring in sculpture and then attended the Tankas school in Dharamsala, India until 1974.
Over his 40+ year career, this all-round painter has worked as a hyper-realistic illustrator, co-operating with editing and advertising companies, innovating with airbrush and testing out various painting techniques; painted backcloths up to 400 square meters in size; painted trompe l’oeil images for private houses and public buildings; done both commercial/advertising work as well as group and solo exhibitions around the world.
In 1990, he began to experiment with body and hand painting. Using his paint on the body of models adjusted into specific positions, he could make the most of his painting skills to create incredibly realistic portraits and scenes onto a living canvas. The inclusion of the human body added a new element to his work, which became impressively unique, so much that it has been more and more used in advertising images and commercials, as well as fashion events and exhibitions.
In 2000, he created his world-renowned “Handimals” series. At first sight the viewers’ mind is tricked into believing that what they are observing is wildlife photography, but it is actually the magic performed by Daniele using the brush as a wand to paint highly detailed and realistic animals onto hands in various positions. Through manipulation and creativity, Daniele masterfully takes the same starting ‘canvas’ and is able to transform it into seemingly any animal he desires. He does so, not using paint because it contains poisonous chemicals, but with make up colors used in Japanese theater, which are made of natural colored powders and water, without glue. This technique makes the works of art intrinsically temporary, because the effect lasts only few hours, but this time is sufficient to immortalize their magnificence in breathtaking photographs.
Bringing together human hands and wildlife animals – making them become one – is Daniele’s way to call attention to endangered animals. In his own words: “Animals on hands mean give a hand to the protection of the animals”. Indeed, Daniele is very committed to wildlife protection and has become increasingly involved with NGOs such as WWF, the Jane Goodall Institute, Dolphin Aid, Innocence in Danger, PLAN, APNEEF and Liliane Fonds.
Currently, Guido Daniele lives and works in Milan.
Ilona Catani Scarlett