Last week I started a new internship with the artist Pio Diaz. It's an internship that will go for one month (August 2018), with the aim to learn, share insight and knowledge, and update and create new communication material for his past, current, and future artworks. In other words, it could be seen as a collaboration, where our skills and experience merge together to create beautiful and coherent presentations of his ideas, products and creative processes.
I met Pio a few years ago through some common friends, and I've been following his work since. He is a passionate man and captivating artist, who draws inspiration from nature and our connection with it, from forgotten memory of common consciousness, where he expresses his values and philosophies in apparently simple and direct forms, but with rich and complex layers of meaning.
In the past he has been part of the artistic duo Hilden & Diaz, based in Copenhagen, Denmark, made up of Thyra Hilden (1972, Denmark) and Pio Diaz, (1973, Argentina). The pair met at Pio Diaz Gallery back in 2004, and have worked together since 2005, up until 2011. Their work is inspired by transformation and paradoxes, as seen in their work City of Fire, a video installation that involved setting famous monuments virtually ablaze, and Bubble, an artistic attempt to preserve a soap bubble forever. (Forms in Nature - formsinnature.org, 2018)
“For many years, we’ve used our work to question cultural structures through destructive forces such as fire,” says Pio Diaz. “Lately, our interest has shifted to the opposite pole – that is, how to preserve the most fragile things despite all odds.” (Forms in Nature - formsinnature.org, 2018)
In this internship the focus will be on updating and creating communication materials for his artworks and various projects. Currently, I am developing the Presentation Catalog of his work, giving me an overview and an insight of Pio's work processes, inspiration, thoughts and ideas. I find this process quite interesting, and I hope I can create something that will represent and communicate his artistic narrative in a coherent and detailed manner.
His latest projects Forms in Nature and Weeds are extremely compelling, attracting the viewer into a recognisable universe, and somehow modified to match the collective memory we share in our relation with nature.
The chandelier sculpture Forms In Nature turns any room into a wild forest made of haunting oversized shadows. It is an artwork consisting of a light source surrounded by a tense and unruly tree and root system created in a miniature sculpture. Mysterious and magical branches, bushes and gnarled trees appear on the walls and ceilings. It is made of special hardened plastic powder that can withstand the heat from the light bulb and will stay bright white over time. The components are designed with a software program by multiplying and refining original hand drawings until reaching a unique pattern. The final pieces of the sculpture is then built with a 3D printer and put together by hand. (Forms in Nature - formsinnature.org, 2018)
Weeds is a project which employs a different artistic approach, using the unwanted plants and flowers to create alluring images of detailed and concentrated nature. Pio is selecting and collecting these plants, brings them to his studio, and creates these mesmerising carpets of flowers, which are captured in glass frames, to be preserved and presented.
At the present moment, a new exciting project is being developed in Pio's studio, which presents an innovative way of building and reimagining a light sculpture, which stems from his famous Forms in Nature concept, but with a more advanced and complex production technology. I won't reveal too much now, but I can share with you a sneak-peek into the 3D renderings of the future light sculptures.