The Brutality of Truth with Daniel Martin Diaz
Written by: Salvador Maximillian All Images courtesy of Daniel Martin Diaz (portrait by Allan Sturm)

Describing an artist as spiritually adept and beautifully in harmony with the universe as Daniel Martin Diaz (DMD) is an arduous task because what he creates is far beyond words.  Adjectives cannot do Daniel the justice he deserves.  DMD deftly dances on the lines that blur science, magic and religion producing images worthy of a cult following.  On his quest for the brutal truth, he has discovered that every discovery or seeming breakthrough inevitably leads to more questions of the tentacled nature.  He knows that humans are very small parts of the whole universal equation, and being confident in what you know (or what you think you know) actually digs you deeper into a sinkhole of ignorance.  He is another artist who attests to the fact that EGO is the ultimate enemy and profoundly understands that objectivity and extreme open mindedness are our only redemption.

“The closer we get to answering the big questions in science the more we realize …”

Please tell us a little about yourself?

I was born and raised in Tucson, Arizona. Never had any intention of creating art. Discovered Joel Peter Witkin, the 1920’s surrealists, and the Flemish Primitives. My life has never been the same since.

How do you describe your form of art?

Searching for the brutality of truth.

What does your art mean to you? Do you believe in a higher power?

The mystery of magic is an important theme for artists or anyone who creates. So, to believe in a higher intelligence is a window I keep open….a slight crack that illuminates light onto the creative and spiritual process. To destroy your ego and open yourself up to a primal pure energy is what I strive for with my work. Presenting art that comes from somewhere else without any agenda or ego is something I am always seeking.

Your portraits are simply deep, they touch on a lot of science, occult, conspiracy, illuminati, religious, biological, cosmic, etc. themes– what are you trying to express with all these themes?

I’m searching for ’Truth’. The pain and beauty it evokes is alluring when it unveils itself in my work. I can feel it emotionally. It’s an emotion I can’t explain. When it’s not there, I’ll abandon whatever piece I am working on and destroy it. The subjects of science and religion have always been my personal battles. Probably because it is the conflict of ’truth’ and ‘magic’. Which one is real? The closer we get to answering the big questions in science the more we realize how little we know. Then when one tries to understand who God is and what faith is, it’s blurry. Similar to the edge of a shadow, the closer you get the more undefined it becomes. Light and dark never touch; there is always the gray area between them. I think this is where my art resides, in the gray area between light and dark, good and evil, truth and fiction.

What tools do you use for the creation of your work and how did you create your personal art style?

My technique and esthetic have been a manifestation of my limitations and desire to understand the human condition. I am always seeking the magic and mystery of life and never think about my skill. I am only contemplating the emotion or mood I am trying to capture with each piece.

What is the worst critique you have ever received about your work? What is the best compliment that you have received about your work?

I think that critiques and compliments are equal. I don’t judge those who criticize my work, just as I don’t think too much about the compliments. Art is meant to be analyzed. All opinions are welcome, I don’t take it personally.

Which artist/s do you look up to the most?

The Flemish Primitives and Santeros of the Southwest. Their connection is on a deep mystical level. Their depictions of suffering and sadness evoke so much beauty and inspiration.

Since Style.No.Chaser is a men’s lifestyle magazine, what attributes/items/clothing /etc. do you think define a man?

My heroes in fashion were the Surrealists from the 1920’s. I admire the way they dressed; always a suit and tie. It didn’t matter if they were having great conversations in a cafe in Paris, painting in the studio, or fishing. Life is art: how you carry yourself, how you dress, and the types of conversations you have. Your attire helps to set the stage for something interesting to unveil itself. The more impressive the threads the more opportunity for a compelling moment to unfold.

What is your personal life philosophy?

To be open minded about anything and everything – even if it makes me uncomfortable. To examine and judge based purely on being objective. It’s a very difficult challenge.

Who dead or alive, celebrity or not, artist or not, would you like to go on a two week road trip with and why?

Hieronymus Bosch. It would be interesting just to watch how he interacts with people. Study his mannerisms and thought process. Watch him work and ask him questions about his subjects.  I would enjoy having a few drinks with him and hearing what he has to say after he loosens up. We would have some deep and not so deep conversations about our existence and what it all means.

What is your favorite movie of all time and why?

I enjoy many movies for different reasons. Here are three I can think of off the top of my head.

The Picture of Dorian Gray – This is one of those movies I have to watch at least two or three times a year. The dialog is brilliant. Henry Wotton is my favorite character. The truths he tells are brutal and dangerous, but necessary in order to evolve. As an artist, who is searching for the brutality of truth, I think about him quite often.

A Beautiful Mind – Nash was such an interesting thinker and his comeback from madness was inspiring. We are all so close to crossing that line.

Eraserhead – I saw this movie in my late teens. It messed with my head. I had no idea what was going on. The aesthetic and psychological grip this movie has on me is still there today.

How can people learn more about your current and upcoming works?

By visiting my website, Facebook and Instagram.

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