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Reverberant Black: Fernando M. Díaz’s Spiritual Ink-Brush

By Priscila Páez

Color provokes a psychic vibration. Color hides a power still unknown but real, which acts on every part of the human body

–Wassily Kandinsky

The profound stare of the abyss, the threat of nightly shades, the obscurity of boundless oceans and the dizziness of infinite space. The spirit of black spreads deeply inward, and undeniably beyond.

Spiritual Papers
By Fernando M. Díaz
Sat, May 7, 5pm
Galería Fernando M. Díaz
Fábrica La Aurora

He paints, he draws, he sculpts, and he has been based in San Miguel de Allende since 2009. Fernando M. Díaz, a Mexican artist whose work has been featured on tickets from the National Lottery, has received widespread critical acclaim both nationally and internationally. After his studies at La Esmeralda National Fine Arts School, he has been part of more than 140 collective and solo exhibitions in several countries, such as Italy, Spain, Austria, Russia, Romania, Bulgaria, US, Mexico, Brazil, Ecuador, and Argentina.

Aside from his artistic creation, Díaz has been committed to public art and curatorship, getting to exhibit in a variety of shows like Hatikva, which was part of the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the State of Israel.

“The Spiritual Papers” is a set of blackened paintings of medium-scale that make the observer surrender to a contemplative experience of being set adrift. For the first time presented at his eponymous gallery, this series transforms the place into a labyrinth of reflection on the dark and perhaps nostalgia.

Through these creations, Díaz returns to a technique he first learned from a Chinese master as a young artist in San Francisco. Popular in China and Japan, Sumi-e, or ink-brush painting, is closely linked to a very Zen way of existence where focus on the path is much more essential than any so-called purpose. With every stroke, thought is freed from entanglement to an open space of creativity. We could say this is homage to growth, liberty, and even the right of spirit to dive into the senseless every once in a while.

The peaceful essence of Sumi-e technique is a subtle combination of lightness from the clear rice paper humidified by a whole spectrum of blacks and grays born out of the monochromatic inkstone, all delicately combed by bamboo brushes and handmade pens.

Should black be rather considered as absence of light? No conception of black is complete if it does not lead one to ponder deep emotions, self-awareness, and reflections on life. Therefore we can envision these works as a current legacy of life’s natural motion, a pictorial unfolding of its waving wisdom. Omnipresent sentiment perceived within individual time. Through black, there floats a spirit that keeps our irredeemably inextricable profundity alive.


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