Día de Diaz
Daniel Martin Diaz is a self-taught, Mexican American artist whose work has gained him international renown. His style is a combination of Northern European art, Spanish Colonial art, surrealism, and post-modernism. While he primarily works with oils on wood, he also works with a wide variety of other mediums such as etchings, block printing and stone lithography.
In addition to his solo exhibitions, his work has been featured in magazines, TV documentaries, on book covers and his own book, Mysterium Fidei. The multi-platinum band P.O.D. commissioned Diaz to design and paint the cover of their self-titled album Payable on Death, which went gold in four weeks and was the subject of controversy across the country because of the cover artwork. In 2010, he designed and painted the cover of Good Charlotte’s album, Cardiology.
Inception and influence: One of my earliest memories as a child was the way death and religion played an important role in my family’s life. My parents were born in Mexico with traditional beliefs, and their beliefs made their way into my subconscious. The fact that many of those beliefs seemed to render no logical explanation has also influenced me. These unanswered questions find a home in my work, which evokes the mystery, fear and irony of those vivid memories of my past. I do not claim to understand these questions. I just paint and let them reveal themselves to me.
My influences include an eclectic mix of fantastical Mexican retablos, mystical votive offerings, the Flemish Primitives, Gothic ornamentation, arcane, religious sigils and medallions, alchemy and symbolism culled from assorted secret societies such as the Rosicrucian Order.
Symbolism plays a central role in my art. It harks back to an earlier Christian culture where a mostly illiterate populace could read the paths leading to the world of the Spirit in the figures, colors, symbols and gestures of the sculptures, paintings and mosaics that adorned the portals, walls and altar screens of the churches.
Like my predecessors, I provide a unique, artistic shorthand to bring viewers to an inner, higher world.
La Halle St Pierre Museum Paris, France
Sept. 12, 2011–2012
Gallerie Toxic, Luxembourg
Sept. 16–Nov. 12, 2011
La Luz de Jesus
Dec. 2–31, 2011