Portrait by: Gene Sasse 2013

Stories from the Art: Marina Diaz

Severe Peace Series | Chalk Pastel Drawing 

"I want to express identities, not just people; I want to express the identity of perception, spirituality, and universal connections."


From the first welcoming smile, Marina Diaz conveys her passion for connection. As you enter her home, she invites you to enter her life, which is an easy task; her house is peppered with possessions and art that reflect who she is, and where her heart lies.

Her studio is filled with her paintings, drawings and creative tools; upon reflection Marina says “Having my things all over the house...creates a continuity of creativity for me”, and you indeed notice her signature throughout her living space. Easels full, stacks of paintings and series completed or in the developmental stages…she likes to look at and focus on the small details of the process, the pieces that make up the whole, in her art as well as her life.

When creating, she will begin with a simple line and let the art unfold as it will. When referring to oils she says “I feel like I am sculpting, I am not drawing on a flat surface, I am sculpting in my mind. I go around the subject; I see it from all sides” She pulls her figures out through color. It’s a free flowing process for Marina, who revels in highlights, high contrasts, and dark shadows. And color. Always color.

Her series Severe Peace is an allusion toward the connectivity we share by the mere fact that we are human. Marina is drawn to the stress lines, the severe angles of the figures she contorts, the musculature that makes them seem stripped to the bone. “I am always thinking in terms of life... there is always such beauty and pain.” Androgynous beings, human figures, the idea of an attitude, a few lines to suggest gestures -“I care less about detail and more about the figurative portrait of the person. The lines I don’t necessarily have to finish, I don’t have to do that... I have no patience with connecting all the dots; it’s the reference to the gesture, to the struggle that I work towards.”  These pieces of art represent the transparency created by trust, the interconnectivity of humanity, and a world where identity is more than having a name. The circles represent portals or vehicles into a different space or memory or possibly a simple intertwining of the universal.

Picking up a skein of brightly colored yarn Marina says “I love to untangle things... I love the outcome.” Her art reveals the working out of a mystery, and shows us her passion to connect with those around her, and when faced with the tangles of life, she looks to the stars to find balance, and prepares to be amazed.

Severe Peace Series | Chalk Pastel Drawing 
Severe Peace Series | Chalk Pastel Drawing 
© 2013 Inland Empire Museum of Art
All Art © by The Artist
Curator: Gene Sasse
Writer: Laurie Morrison