ANDY DIAZCAUGHT IN THE SYSTEM
OMNI is pleased to present their upcoming exhibition by Cuban-American artist Andy Diaz (b.1993). The self-taught artist, now based in Florida, is greatly influenced by science fiction and dystopian imagery, fuelled by his imagination and childhood memories. The exhibition Caught in the System displays both a sense of tenderness as well as maintaining it’s underlying theme of dark humour, using his love of emoji culture to document his day-to-day life struggles while seeming playfully oblivious.
At the core of Andy Diaz’ art practice is a natural inclination and affinity for intuitive mark making and drawing. His style of work is greatly influenced by skateboarding and graffiti. Rendered with aerosol paints, oils, acrylic, or a mix, Diaz’ canvases alternate between hazy dreamscapes executed in subtle tones and more aggressive, tightly-painted scenes in bright day glow colours. His fluid images are drawn and painted directly onto canvases, and the works often have no preplanning or overarching concept. The protagonists within his paintings often appear to have been caught red-handed, or off guard but depict a sense of strength through their harsh stare to the viewer. We emphasise with their distress, befriending those characters within the canvases and becoming part of the a psychedelic party which Diaz creates within his works.
Diaz works a lot with improvisation. First drawing the familiar faces that we see throughout most of his practise, and then attaching a body to them. Having grown up skateboarding, Diaz finds it almost spiritual in its ability to make you feel as though you are flying. Greatly influenced by his love for his friends and family he has started to give his characters wings, reminiscing on a time when he and a friend would draw monsters onto cards, giving them unique powers and using them to create a card game. Being an only child and having not been allowed to hang around in the neighbourhood while growing up, encouraged him to use his imagination which is evident in much of his work today. His canvases often have a certain ‘mist’ to them that can be associated with the idea of magic, Diaz describes them as having an ‘aura’.