ABOUT THE ARTWORK
“We wouldn’t be surprised to see this composition by Catarina Diaz on a billboard in New York advertising perfume or luxury lingerie. In the centre of the composition, a model stares at us with a distant gaze. Her posture and outfit seem staged in a photoshoot. Still, the energetic body of this figure shows a mixture of tiredness and alienation, the first denounced by the arched back and the second visible in the look and facial inexpressiveness. Three black camellias are blooming on the left side of the composition, adding weight to the atmosphere. But the white owl, which appears in the foreground, perching on this woman’s back while protecting her with a vast white wing, brings us the message to retain: we must notice what is not visible to us and others. She symbolizes peace. Even if there are bad moments, its presence testifies that serenity will come. According to the Shamanic religion, on the right side of the work is the snow leopard, the supreme master of intuition. These two animals are the only ones who know the epilogue of this woman’s story, which mirrors that of so many others. Hence the placidity mirrored in their muzzles and postures. It is the unshakeable serenity of those who know that everything is passing and that the best is yet to come so that we can listen to the flights of the white owl and the silence of the snow leopard.”
“Placidity” is part of a set of analog collages created in Hahnemühle German Etching Giclée Printed, embellished with oil-sticks, inspired by London’s cosmopolitan life, fashion, as well as memories of a childhood inhabited by the exotic and vibrant chromatics of the west coast of Southern Africa. BBC art critic and curator Maeve Doyle described her work as “very, very transcendent pieces that mix realism with spirituality and surrealism”, a phrase that perfectly applies to these artworks that take us on a journey through dream realities, symbolic images and metamorphoses that result from the artist’s fascinating psyche. Her work invites us to dive into an elegant story of ascension and serenity, a return to nature through an unique journey inhabited by exotic animals, vibrant and peaceful colors, sensuous female figures that metamorphose in front of our eyes, performing as a compliment to feminine beauty and symbol of women’s empowerment.
Catarina Diaz was born in Benguela, in 1969. Belonging to a family of painters, poets, potters and musicians, she has been drawing and painting since she was little. At the age of 5, she moved to Portugal, but brought with her the vibrant chromaticism of the African sunset, the flamingos, the bougainvillea that marked her imagination and her creations. After dedicating part of her career to teaching, Public and International Relations in Portugal, she decided to embrace the cosmopolitan life of London, where she developed her artistic work and research. The city that also became a source of daily inspiration for her works. In London, her master was artist David Mach, a member of the Royal Academy of Arts in London, who led her to a new perspective on analogue collage and on the use of mixed techniques. This perspective made her artistic path and identity clear, but it was her genius that turned her into an up-and-coming internacional artist. She participates in several solo and group exhibitions in Europe and the United States, highlighting the recent digital installation in Oxford street, London, in a project curated by W1curates, The Visionary Projects of New York, in an exhibition curated by the Voss Gallery of São Francisco and Galeria Cael in Milan, also participated in the 5th edition of the Art3f art fair, in Paris, represented by the Madrid gallery Monat, in the collective exhibition DE.MO in Milan and Forteventura, organized by MADS Art Gallery and she exhibited at the Sweet Hotel and Spa gallery, in Figueira da Foz. In Catarina’s artistic path, still stand out a set of artworks permanently exhibited in the scenario of the television program Cristina ComVida, on TVI, in Portugal, and her artworks were featured on Vlog Middleagedminx by BBC announcer Jo Good, on Artist Talk Magazine, on Contemporary Art Magazine, on Artists Antology Contemporary Art 20/21, and on iconic British magazines such as House and Garden, The World of Interiors, Tatler, Vanity Fair and Vogue. The artist was recently awarded the Collector’s Vision International Art Award for outstanding achievements and potential.