Diego Dedablio was born in Tatuí, a city located 140 km from São Paulo and known for being the capital of music. This is due to the fact that it hosts the Dramatic and Musical Conservatory “Dr. Carlos de Campos” de Tatuí – the largest of its kind in Latin America –, or just Conservatório de Tatuí, as it is internationally known.
No wonder the musical theme has been present in Dedablio's work for a long time. The iconography of the musician is a recurring character along with popular music, the sambista, the caboclo from Maracatu and the congado from Minas Gerais. These elements are part of the artist's research who, in conversation with the arte!brasileiros, revealed to be very influenced by Jazz, a musical rhythm that he started listening to because of the professors at the city's Conservatory.
Despite music having a strong appeal, the city is also the birthplace of one of the greatest actresses in the country, Tatu-born Vera Holtz. The actress is a reference for everyone who aspires to a successful and prestigious career in the performing arts.
On a visit to the city, Vera came across some works by Dedablio, who ventured into street art. Curious to know who would be behind the sprays on the walls, the actress went to the countryman's house. In addition to having acquired some works, Vera was responsible for financing the time the artist spent in São Paulo to study at the Panamericana Escola de Arte e Design. Dedablio comments on the period: “I didn't finish my studies there because the school started to influence my style too much. I decided to leave because of pedagogical modulation. I was at a stage where influence was a risk for me. Then I decided to leave and took free courses in São Paulo”.
In the Santa Cecília neighborhood, where he lived, Dedablio began to paint around the region and went to study engraving, woodcuts and lithographs at the Lasar Segall Museum. With free courses, he was able to develop his own style, without interference.
In these experiments, he improved his practice quickly. Among the characteristics of the artist's work is the mixture of graffiti techniques for the fine art and vice versa. “Recently, I did a mural with spray and oil paint together, which is very unusual, isn't it? I haven't seen anyone do it yet. Normally, people paint with latex”. One of the reasons for doing this exchange of styles is to take the canvas technique, such as oil painting, to the streets. “It's super difficult to do because it's tiny, so you're there with the little brush on a giant wall. It's martyrdom, but it's so worth it. The result is great”.
Back in Tatuí, Dedablio always tried to keep in touch with the capital. For him, the lack of effervescence in a small town is lacking. On trips to São Paulo, he works independently and thus received his first international invitations. In 2012, he went to Amsterdam, in the Netherlands, where he was invited to do an intervention on the facade of a building. Five years later, he was asked by the Brazilian embassy in Belarus to paint a large-scale mural in Minsk, the country's capital.
It was only ten years after the first international invitation that the opportunity arose to carry out such a large project in Brazil. In 2022, the Tatuí Conservatory commissioned the painting of a mural for the institution. “Only now, with a new management at the Conservatory, a more comprehensive management, with a clearer head, is that they made this invitation. I thought it was super important for me, as it was my first time in Brazil painting on a large scale”.
Dedablio's connection with the Tatuí Conservatory goes beyond his hometown. The artist attributes a large part of his indirect education to the contact he has always maintained with the institution's professors and with the musical references that make up his work: "I was super happy, because my work already has a lot of musical concepts within the theoretical part and, even practice, synesthesia, composition, semiotics, tonal scale within the work of art, and so on. [The mural] is a return to what I learned, to what the arts represent. Because instrumental music, classical music and graffiti are very different things, right? A business that is very difficult to see”.
For the future, Dedablio has the desire to create neographite: “I already have a lot of theoretical writings here and I have this plan to make a formalization of this neographite that encompasses all techniques at the same time. It is a research that I have of anthropology and sociology with contemporary art, which is one of my pretensions”.
Despite this, the artist said that he does not seek to have many ambitions. “The art world is kind of strange, it has something austere about it, which I don't really identify with. But it is necessary to punctuate the space, to be present. I think my ambition is to be alive and present at work. Not me, as a person, but giving life to work, making work breathe in the perception of others, like that. It's not even a claim, I think it's an obligation”.