Alexis Diaz – Dictador Art Masters
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DAM

Alexis Diaz

Alexis Diaz is a Puerto Rican painter and urban muralist, known for his chimerical and dreamlike depictions of animals in a state of metamorphosis. Inhabited mostly by phantasmagorical animals, Alexis Diaz’s captivating murals are characterized by a very detailed technique and line-by-line precision. Diaz’s signature style is the use of tiny black brushstrokes on white to render his creatures, making them look like highly-detailed pen-and-ink drawings. These ‘drawings’ stand out all the more for being set against their bright teal, blue, and sunset-colored backdrops. He has a preference for wild animals, in general, more specifically those living in the Savannah, as he blends them in a fantastical image with creatures from the depths of the oceans, replaces paws with tentacles and wings with hands.

Hailing from Porto Rico, he has been drawing from a very young age but street art always caught his attention above traditional methods because, as he says: “I felt that traditional, paint-on-canvas style had its limitations – I had always dreamed of creating art for all people to enjoy”. Seeking another way to express himself, Alexis turned to mural art and began creating his works in public spaces, to reach out to a broad audience regardless of social status. Using a small brush and a lot of patience, Alexis creates most of his meticulous compositions freehand, line-by-line as he goes along. “I feel like having an intimate conversation between the wall, the surrounding space and me,” says Alexis. “I put elements together like in a puzzle until the moment of mutual understanding.”

Hailing from Porto Rico, he has been drawing from a very young age but street art always caught his attention above traditional methods because, as he says: “I felt that traditional, paint-on-canvas style had its limitations – I had always dreamed of creating art for all people to enjoy”. Seeking another way to express himself, Alexis turned to mural art and began creating his works in public spaces, to reach out to a broad audience regardless of social status. Using a small brush and a lot of patience, Alexis creates most of his meticulous compositions freehand, line-by-line as he goes along. “I feel like having an intimate conversation between the wall, the surrounding space and me,” says Alexis. “I put elements together like in a puzzle until the moment of mutual understanding.”

Alexis first began to create murals in 2010, alongside his friend Juan Fernandez aka JUFE. Both artists are known for intricate line detail, splashes of vibrant color and the melding of fantastical animal imagery. The street art scene in Puerto Rico was at the time very limited, only using typical spray cans, any other mediums were generally either completely missed or even frowned upon so Alexis felt quite limited. This was until he began to experience works by Keith Haring who was a big inspiration and encouragement, which finally led him to step outside aerosol and begin to paint the street using other means. Looking back, Alexis still can’t believe how art changed his life. “I quit my job and everything I was doing at the moment and for a year and a half I painted the streets of Puerto Rico without gaining a penny,” he remembers. Now over 40 of his surreal murals can be found in more than two-dozen cities worldwide. And he keeps adding to the list: “This year I’ll be painting in New York, Budapest, Cozumel, Rome, Berlin, San Diego, Denver, Paris, and Sydney,” he says.

Date

March 28, 2018