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José Antonio Diazdel

Born in Malaga on 6 January 1954

It is interesting to note in Diazdel’s work two very characteristic aspects of his formal structures.

Firstly, many of the figures in his paintings are cut out of the composition. Arms, legs and bodies are amputated without the figures losing their integrity. This is because they are subject to the “law of simplicity” by which incomplete figures are usually seen as complete as long as their forms are simple enough and the proportion of them in the area of vision is sufficient. This way of constructing a figure would be unthinkable in a classical aesthetic. But in diazdel the elements are in place so that these compositions do not appear dissonant. One of them is that the figures are constructed according to the background and not the other way round. They are figures that come from an emerging magma and which, due to their nature, make a unitary perception possible. The background, therefore, is treated structurally and chromatically in the same way as the form. Background and form are equal, they compensate each other. Both are part and whole. Hence the amputated fragments of form are balanced by certain zonal spaces in the background.

The second aspect to point out is that the theme of the work is superimposed on the formal structure and therefore if certain parts (arms, feet…) are omitted, it is because the painter is trying to lead us back to a totalising vision of what is represented without the need to capture the whole. There is an intention, a will to involve the spectator in the concretion of an image. Participatory dynamics: recreation.

Another characteristic of these diazdel figures is their deformed appearance. It seems as if a certain strabismus of the spectator gives it the appearance of a figure reflected in a concave mirror. The symbolising values of these forms are very abundant: irony, restrained humour, denaturalisation of the tragic, etc.

At the same time there is an attempt to reduce representation to elementary images. A bit like in Egyptian art as well as in all Oriental painting, eliminating volume and depth and reducing the formal aspects of the vision of the world and of things to outlines. However, unlike these paintings with a strong religious or representational content, he does not contemplate symmetry in his composition or ornamentation, as he does not need to establish a hierarchy of any established order, but rather Diazdel continually tries to provoke tensions within his works, sometimes introducing collagist techniques so that the forms finally find the necessary balance.

We could conclude this observation by saying that the illustrative character that can often be observed in diazdel’s paintings (and of course in his drawings and prints) responds to this same way of arranging forms on the part of an illustrator. In graphic compositions, the image is often subordinated to other formal elements (texts, white spaces), i.e. the background, which makes it unimportant to section off certain elements of a figure. The aim is simplicity. Diazdel is aware of this. That is why his formal structures are often simple and at the same time dynamic, without ambiguous disturbances. In his paintings the forms and their spatial placement do not contradict each other, they balance and complement each other.

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