Douglas Diaz is an American born artist currently based in Thailand. Working primarily across painting, drawing and printmaking, his practice is rooted in an appreciation of zazen meditation and questions of the self in relationship to the impermanence of life.
Diaz’s most recent body of work explores the topic of Intimacy. In his attempt to gain a personal and in-depth understanding of intimacy, Douglas Diaz has chosen to examine this topic through three particular lenses: intimacy with himself, intimacy with another and intimacy with a higher power.
For the pieces that deal with questions of the self, Douglas is interested in exploring awareness, particularly when it intersects the confrontation of personal limitations, fears and habits.
With pieces of like Desire #2, Douglas is investigating intimacy as it relates to another person. Specifically the notion of acceptance and vulnerability, which sits at the core of true intimacy: the opening up to another human being.
The last type of intimacy he explores in this series is arguably the hardest one for him, which has to do with letting go and surrendering to the unknown or to a higher power. For Douglas, a higher power is synonymous with the Universe or God. This type of intimacy relies on trust and faith both in yourself and the unseen forces that escape the logical mind.
All of the work is done using graphite in several forms, which allow for a variety of mark makings gestures. These gestures are born out of the direct translation of his emotional insights gained through the meditative process of zazen. Meditating in the Zen tradition focuses not on an intellectual knowing, but the deeper emotional conditions that steadies the heart and anchors the self to the realities of any given moment.
The mark makings are frantic, hypnotic and allude to a stream of consciousness guided by this meditative state. The need to translate these insights directly and as quickly as possible onto the paper betrays the natural speed of each medium, yet in their messy and chaotic state, it reveals the clarity and honesty of what arises during the meditative process.