What I really like is to paint [...] I paint what I see in front of me. If I lived in a place that only had rocks, I’d paint rocks. But I live with people, I see the make-up, the standard expressions, the blasé air before a cultural moment. On the other hand, if I watch a scene of war on TV, I paint that. Savageness also has its expression. (Delano, Olinda, 2001).
Painter, designer and wood-cutter, Franklin Delano de França e Silva was born in the municipality of Buíque, Pernambuco, in 1945.
Delano, as he was known, began drawing as a child, copying and inventing comics with his left hand until a teacher at the school where he studied in Serinhaém told him that it was the “wrong” hand. Then I passed the pencil to the other hand and continued doing the same thing. I really liked the number four, because when I turned it upside down I thought it looked like a chair [...]
In 1961, he did a design course at the Movimento de Cultura Popular (Popular Culture Movement) (MCP), where he received artistic guidance from Abelardo da Hora, Zé Cláudio and Wellington Virgolino. He went on foot from Prado, the neighbourhood where he lived, to Sítio da Trindade in Casa Amarela, where the MCP operated.
[...] I had no money to spend on the bus. After classes I would return and spend the rest of the time drawing, drawing, people would call me to play football in the street, but I preferred scribbling, scribbling. I took it very seriously [...] I would buy ten sheets of office paper, pencil, rubber. No! Rubbers weren’t used, because Abelardosaid that you shouldn’t use rubbers, you should fix the drawing by your own tracing. [...]
[...] The first noble material I learnt and used was nankeen, still at the time of Abelardo. It was a feather with which you had to be very careful otherwise it would crush very easily. And I started using nibs. I spent a long time doing this, which is good because it is important to master tracing
[...]Drawing is fundamental [...]
Abelardo da Hora believes that Delano had shared with him his interest in feminine figures since the MCP period.
Delano lived in São Paulo, where he worked as a freelancer, designing, doing caricatures and cartoons for newspapers. He was an illustrator at the Jornal da Tarde. He even managed to sell some drawings in São Paulo, but for questions of survival, he moved from drawing to painting.
From 1965 to 1966, he participated in several collective showings, including the Exhibition of North-eastern Art held in Natal, Rio Grande do Norte; The National Biennial of Plastic Arts of Bahia; the Six North-eastern Artists exhibition at the Rio Grande do Norte Museumof Art, and some exhibitions at the Recife Studio of Sacred Art.
In 1967, he became part of ‘Ateliê + 10’ (+ 10 Studio) in Olinda, alongside Anchises Azevedo, Montez Magno, Wellington Virgolino, Maria Carmem, Liêdo Maranhão and João Câmara, with whom he created the Oficina Guaianases de Gravura (Guainaases Woodcutting Workshop) in 1973, one of the most important and long-lasting artistic movements in Pernambuco.
Exhibitions, especially individuals ones, were never his strength:
[...] I’m terrified of exhibitions. An exhibition requires time, deadlines. If someone wants to have an exhibition with what I have in the studio, I’ll do it. But to work for an exhibition, then I don’t know when the exhibition will be. And no gallery or investor wants that [...] I really like to paint. Without worrying about anything [...]. When they ask me whyI exhibit so little, jokingly, but it could be true, I say it’s because I don’t like to expand on an unblemished curriculum vitae, something annoying to read. Every year that passes I continue to exclude what I don’t think is important. One day, so reduced, only my monogram will remain [...]
According to his wife, Macira Farias, who worked as his agent, in thirty-two years of marriage, only four individual exhibitions of her husband have been held.
The first exhibition was held in 1974, at the Pernambuco Museum of Contemporary Art; the second at the Ribeira Market in Olinda ten years later in 1984; the third, entitled Ateliê Pernambuco, in 1999, at the Aloísio Magalhães Museum of Modern Art in Recife, along with Maria Carmeme Ferreira; and the last, Delano: pintura e desenho (Delano: painting and design), in 2006,at the Museumof Contemporary Art in Olinda (MAC), where most of the works displayed – approximately 60, including paintings, designs, watercolours and woodcuts created from 1982 to 2006 – were premiered.
From 5 to 24 June 2010, he participated in the 11 de Cá exhibition, an homage to football held at Paço Alfândega in Recife, alongside eleven Pernambuco artists, including Gil Vicente, Félix Farfan, Roberto Ploeg, Maurício Arraes and José Cláudio.
Delano died on Olinda, aged 65, on 27 December 2010, as the result of a stroke, and was buried at the Morada da Paz Cemetery in Paulista.
Recife, 10 January 2011.
Translated by Peter Leamy, February 2012.
BEZERRA, Eugênia. Delano morre vítima de um acidente vascular. Jornal do Commercio, Recife, 28 dez. 2010. Caderno C, p. 6.
CÂMARA, João. Paisagens e figura. Continente Multicultural, Recife, ano 1, n. 3, p. 62-63, mar. 2001.
MONTEATH, Raquel. O adeus do artista plástico Delano. Continente online, Recife. Disponível em: <http://www.revistacontinente
.com.br/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=5770&Itemid=62>. Acesso: 29 dez. 2010.
MINDÊLO, Olívia. Delano. Enciclopédia Nordeste, 2009. Disponível em: <http://fotolog.terra.com.br/fotolog_br.html>. Acesso em: 29 dez. 2010.
POLO, Marco. As cores da ironia: Delano. Continente Multicultural, Recife, ano 1, n. 3, p. 54-65, mar. 2001.
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Source:GASPAR, Lúcia. Delano [Franklin]. Pesquisa Escolar Online, Joaquim Nabuco Foudation, Recife. Available at: <http://basilio.fundaj.gov.br/pesquisaescolar/>. Accessed: day month year. Exemple: 6 Aug. 2009