Artist: José Díaz
Exhibition title: Motorik
Venue: The Goma, Madrid, Spain
Date: September 15 – October 30, 2016
Photography: all images copyright and courtesy of the artist and The Goma, Madrid
For his second solo show at The Goma, José Díaz has chosen the word Motorik (psychomotricity), a term coined by music critics to describe the ostinato beat peculiar to krautrock, a brand of experimental rock from West Germany in the sixties. The name derives from the repetitive yet forward-flowing drive of the rhythm which has been compared with the experience of driving on the autobahn.
From a more local perspective, though without falling victim to the forces of kitsch, the work of this painter speaks to us of everyday tempos and routines, and the rhythm and feel of the city he lives in: Madrid. He takes us on a physical and virtual drive through oversaturated quotidianity—as opposed to a flaneurist stroll—based on the futurist mechanics proper to a technological city, namely asphalt, signage, neons, urban speleology and the stroboscopic flashing of nightclubs. The gestures and sweeping movements of improvisation are used to give form to a mechanism that enables multiple overlapping realities in a single space-time, a construction of abstractions full of echoes and voices.
José Díaz’s paintings confront the idea of the image, foreclosing any straightforward reception of the sign. In them, the “impurity” of Painting wins out over the order of representation. Perhaps this is reason why the distance the artist maintains with respect to the canvas in his practice is so close, refuting the “bird’s eye view”. His gaze focuses on the walls which he comes up against once and again, not unlike what happens in videogames or in musicloops: a kind of first person labyrinth. The artist provides us with titles to these labyrinths, not to designate or describe, but to guide, insinuating repetition through standardisation (Unisex), through Spanish idiosyncrasy (Deprisa, deprisa; HK x 3), or through the virtual world (Infinite Run; ↑↓→).
José Díaz graduated with a BA in Fine Arts from Universidad Complutense de Madrid and continued his studies in Berlin in 2007-2008 thanks to a Leonardo scholarship. His work has been seen in institution group shows Retroalimentación at Sala de Arte Joven (2014), Sin motivo aparente at CA2M (2013), Iceberg at Matadero (2012) and Inéditos at La Casa Encendida (2012), in Madrid. He has also had one-person shows at Galería Louis 21 in Palma de Mallorca (2013) and Galería José Robles in Madrid (2011). Besides his visual art practice, Díaz is also involved in collective projects such as Autoplacer dedicated to music, and Poderesunidos, an art collective focussing its research on science, pseudo-science and other forms of knowledge.
José Díaz, Infinite Run, 2016
Oil on canvas, 195 x 165 cm
José Díaz, ↑↓→ #1, 2016
Oil on canvas, 116 x 89 cm
José Díaz, ↑↓→ #4, 2016
Oil on canvas, 116 x 82 cm
José Díaz, Deprisa, deprisa, 2016
Oil on canvas, 56 x 48 cm
José Díaz, Unisex, 2016
Oil on canvas, 162 x 130 cm