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Enciclopédia Itaú Cultural de Artes Visuais
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  Bahia, Dora Longo (1961)        

Dora Longo Bahia (São Paulo SP 1961). Multimedia artist. As of 1984, she has worked with set design, illustration and performance art. In 1987, she earned a bachelor's degree in artistic education from the Fundação Armando Álvares Penteado - Faap [Armando Álvares Penteado Foundation], where she studied under Nelson Leirner. In this period, she produced metal engravings featuring images that recalled comic strip heroes. Since the 1990s, her paintings have focused on her predicament as an urbanite dealing with subjects like violence, sex and death. Between 1992 and 1995, she played bass in the Disk-Putas band, which also participated in her performance shows. She exhibited in Brazil, as well as in the Netherlands, Argentine and Mexico. In 1997, she participated in the 6th Havana Biennial, held at the Wilfredo Lam Contemporary Art Center. Since 1993, she has worked as an illustrator for the newspaper, Folha de S. Paulo. She has been teaching painting at the Faap since 1994. From 2000 to 2003, she developed her master's thesis on visual poetics at the Escola de Comunicação e Artes da Universidade de São Paulo - ECA/USP [School of Communication and Arts of the University of São Paulo]. She plays in the Verafischer and Maradonna rock bands.

Critical Commentary
Dora Longo Bahia studied at the Fundação Armando Álvares Penteado - Faap [Armando Álvares Penteado Foundation], under Nelson Leirner, from whom she inherited a critical view of the art establishment.

Following the phase in which her paintings directly dealt with the subject of violence in large urban centers, showing ordinary people's connection to the crimes reported in the newspapers, Bahia began to produce works using first photographs from family albums, then landscapes. In the series, Imagens Infectadas [Infected images], from 1999, a set of works combining the techniques of silkscreening and etching, she shows the effect of time on memories by presenting ordinary images attacked by fungi and in process of deterioration.

In the work Who's Afraid of Red? (Honey Moon), from 2000, Bahia drew on her personal memories, painting a portrait of her parents' honeymoon based on an old photograph. The image takes on a whitish cast evoking the remembrance of past things. She adds marks, cuts and scratches to the painting, as well as aggressive interventions in red. The title was taken from the canvas, Who's Afraid of Red, Yellow and Blue III, by the American painter Barnett Newman, which was slashed open by a visitor while displayed at a museum.

The artist utilizes diverse techniques - painting, photography, video -, though she is a self-proclaimed producer of images. Many of her paintings are made on the basis of photographs projected onto a two-dimensional surface. The use of the figure is an important aspect of her work, drawing attention to the material quality of the images and their exposure to the passage of time.

Updated on 19/07/2011