"A professor in art school once told me while critiquing my artwork, “You make people feel sane.” Those words stuck in my mind because at the time I was questioning why I painted the things I did. I learned the power an image can have on the viewer"
Luis Diaz has worked as an illustrator and graphic designer for TV, web, print and interactive for over 15 years. Clients include IDW Publishing, Devils Due, The Topps Company, Univision Network, Miami New Times, New York City's The Village Voice, Education Weekly and the World Wrestling Entertainment. His work has been seen in Corel Painter Magazine, BLUECANVAS, ImagineFX Magazine, Ballistic's Exposé and Spectrum Fantastic Art Annuals. Diaz is a graduate from The Maryland Institute, College of Art.
Born in Cardenas, Cuba his family migrated to the States in 1982 stopping in Costa Rica and Mexico along the way. His family established themselves in Miami where a young Diaz started to draw and eventually caught the eye of his art teacher who took it upon herself to guide the child. Diaz would go on to a commerical art magnet high school and then major in Illustration in MICA.
Dark imagery and black humor is important in his work. Inward voyages, memories and childhood experiences shape the world Diaz creates. His paintings suggest an obsession to detail and texture. He moves around realism, cartooning and abstraction like rooms in a house. He continues to write and paint in Minneapolis.
My work is a culmination of years of experience with color, design and painting. It stems from the desire to find familiarity from marks and shapes. When I was a child I would stare at the texture of the ceiling or on walls and notice forms that resembled something. The shapes were created by the street lights going into a bedroom or a flickering flourecent light illuminating acid green and yellow stairways. There are things moving and dancing and fighting. Faces and forms that would come alive by nothing more than a few bumps or dirty marks on the surface. I’d see color where there was none. Years later I realized that the things that excited me the most was painting in a similar manner. Searching with paint and ink on paper, wood or canvas using old paint brushes or tools I'd find in the street. I try to find appealing shapes while I create marks or sometimes they would present themselves after I would put the art away and the paint has dried. Sometimes when I close my eyes or stare into a dark room these shapes come alive and for years I’ve tried to find that kind of excitement in my work. These flashes in my head or when shuffling through the series of works I have done feel as exhilarating as a ride in a rollercoaster. Each session is not always gratifying. There are lots of risks involved in the process. Sometimes things that are captured would not look the same moments later when dry and accidents tend to happen because paint and inks can be unpredicatable. I move fast in the beginning and slow down being more methodical near the end. It is about creating order from chaos allowing unexpected things to happen on the surface while also working in a deliberate manner. Because of this process there is exciting and dissapointment, but that fight is what fuels the journey. These paintings are the physical manifestation of recreating the experiences I felt as a child when hunting for shapes in the dark.