Born in Porto, one of five brothers, Daniel Gonçalves endured a troubled upbringing at the hands of a father who gambled, drank and had a violent temperament. However, his father was a highly skilled carpenter and gave his son an appreciation and respect for manual work, and for drawing something beautiful out of unpromising raw material. Raised without affection or stability, the Gonçalves brothers all ended up in prison for lesser or greater crimes – with the exception of Daniel, who at the age of twelve was sent to a seminary to save the family some money and to cultivate a vocation. Mistreated there too, the artist lost any religious faith that he may have had.
Today Gonçalves is married with three children and has found some stability. For the last 20 years, he has used the same materials, the same pen and compass, always sitting on the same chair, always facing east. Entirely self-taught, the artist received his first public recognition at the Cruzes Canhoto Gallery in Porto, where his work was exhibited in 2016. In 2017, he participated in an exhibition at the Oliva Creative Factory in Portugal. More recently, his work was exhibited in galleries in France, the US and the UK, and at the Outsider Art Fair in New York in 2019.