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visual artist and writer marisol diaz

i am a self-defined Nuyorican creative (that is a Puerto Rican who is from both the isles of Manhattan, NYC and the Caribbean). I share daily in the joy of education and live in a cute port town in New York, in a 'teensy-weensy' apartment with my two dogs and canary named Valentino. Check out my Etsy shop for purchasable pieces. Please do not reproduce imagery off of this site without explicit credit and no derivatives may be made of my original imagery- Thank You.

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Inspiring Artist You should Know: Denis Darzacq  

Photo BY Denis Darzacq from his Hyper series Denis Darzacq is one of my top all-time favorite living artists. He is a French photographer that I would love love to interview (if I ever could be so honored). He is virally known for his most recent series 'Hyper', but I was introduced to him on the blogosphere with his earlier series entitled, 'La Chute (the Fall)'. Hyper is seemingly a continuation of his work in which he:
asks young street dancers from working class neighborhoods in Paris and Rouen to perform in the aisles of the "hypermarché," the massive supermarkets and global retail chains that have supplanted smaller shops in France and in many countries around the globe. Suspended in mid-air, these floating bodies bring an otherworldliness to common consumerism. Like baroque figures, the dancers rise and fall either victims or victors against the absolutism of globalized commerce. This opposition between being and having, between the person and the environment - a central theme in Darzacq's practice - questions the human cost of materialism.

La Chute was inspired by the 2005 riots in the housing projects ("banlieues") around the outskirts of Paris where many young, disenfranchised, and mostly immigrant inhabitants were blamed for much of the unrest. Like Hyper, the photographs present dreamlike scenes of hovering bodies but in this case they are contrasted against the sparseness of the desolate landscape. La Chute is a meditation on uncertainty, possibility, and desire in the face over overwhelming adversity.

LA CHUTE N° 09 BY Denis Darzacq

Last year I was in a two woman show with fellow artist Nova Gutierrez in the 2/20 Gallery in Chelsea, New York run and owned by Miguel Herrera. The theme of the exhibit revolved around our interpretation of the title of the show, the words 'Unearthly Woman'. Many (not all) of the pieces that I made for that show were loosely inspired by Denis Darzacq and his photographic work.

The Laurence Miller gallery states about Denis Darzacq's work:

The photographs explore the tension between being and having, between the human body and the built environment. They offer a fresh, witty and intensely colorful commentary on global consumerism and freedom of spirit.

I did not use Denis' images as that is not what I mean by inspired.

In fact, that is definitely a topic for future art-making posts, since it is sad and frustrating and much too frequent how many artists struggling for their own content can confuse inspiration with outright copying.

However, using his ethereal capture of frozen moments of the fall, I began to develop my own picture references of the female figure falling as a metaphor for my displacement within dual and competing cultures and locations (place and time) that I feel as a Nuyorican but also as my gender explorations are redefined from that of my biological sex.

Falling to me is a fascinating subject one in which even NPR's show Radio Lab has explored (that I would highly recommend listening to). Falling is at once a loss of control as it is a release of control and it is a fascinating state of altering time. I wanted my translations to be quick and loose, as opposed to my usually tight illustrated style, and done with unresolved marks that pushed the flavor of frozen motion. In my humble opinion, it is that frozen motion that Denis Darzacq captures so masterfully.

one of the charcoal and acrylic paintings for the Unearthly Woman Exhibit one wall of my work for UNEARTHLY WOMAN from last year's Chelsea NY exhibit- quick charcoal & acrylic paintings a scale shift as this is one of the smallest pntgs compared to the larger ones by me

What I'm hoping to convey today with this post is how an artist and their vision can be a catalyst to developing your own unique response and to exploring a communal idea uniquely. In addition, I hope to introduce you to this outstanding artist, his work, and process as he has now made it to one of my top creative minds list.

I also found this fantastic video that shows Denis at work with his process and I thought it an excellent addition to this inspiring artist you should know post:

Reader Comments (5)

Wow! He is an amazing artist. I love that you were inspired by his work and showed how inspiration can take you as an artist to another level. I haven't check in with you in a long time, but you're even more fantastic than before. I wholeheartedly can relate to being in two cultures at once and still being who you are. Thanks for such an informative post. You Rock! Have a wonderful holiday and happy new year. I"ll keep looking to you for inspiration.

December 21, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterIndigene

I absolutely love this post and this artist!!! His work reminds me of so many things...from Robert Longo's drawings to Luis Gispert's slightly creepy cheerleaders---they even have an Inception feel to them, but the political edge by placing them where he does is what puts him in a different league. I love your paintings too and love it when good work sparks more good work...keep it up amarettogirl!!!

December 22, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterstainboy21

indeed great work. a moment of gymnastic strength resembling an accident or suicide. if we had the time to notice what we are capable of.. we would be more than capable

December 26, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterbluedemon

Oi, Sol! Como estas?
Here in Brazil it´s frying hot... lot´s of rain... no air conditioners te help! lol

Theses pictures are amazing! That really is an artist we should pay attention to.
I LOVE your work! The last one in this post is my favorite, although I love them all.
You site is beautiful in this dark color. I also made some changes in my blog... I'm still trying to find time to update it, do all the art projects I have in my mind, do my job... Life is crazy, ins't it? My days should be looonger.

How's life going? How are your chickens? My daughter went crazy when I showed her those pictures! lol

I hope you had a lovely Christmas with the ones you love. And I wish you all the best this next year, lot's of new projects, new friends, lot's of love and success.


December 28, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLilian

this guy is really awesome. I sat down and watched that video and i like that moment he tells the guy "this is photography, not video." You kinda forget how photography, while it gives so much information, is still just a flash of time.

January 8, 2011 | Unregistered Commentercolin

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