Horror Vacui is defined as “a fear or dislike of leaving empty spaces, especially in an artistic composition.” Inside the gallery, viewers will be moved by the cacophony of paintings, drawings, and gestures made by the artist over the last 8 months during the pandemic. This unique time period in life has defined much of the focus of the subject matter, primarily the recognizable twists and turns of the human forms and the deep layers of shadows created by the artist’s familiar technique. The usually strong male nude, full of muscle and strength, has been stripped down and reshaped into feeble forms in simple gestures in this exhibition. Though Diego mines sources throughout art history, he still loves to draw. You can notice subtle details in the line work of a toe, or a nose, that did not exist in the original work. Undeniably present in this exhibition is the craftsmanship and excellence that Diego possesses as a painter and printmaker.
Leon Gallery is known for offering an unrestricted space for our artists to push the boundaries of their work. Diego takes this invitation to its fullest offering for his third exhibition at Leon. Diego captures honestly how the last 8 months have felt; so powerful and large at moments, looming and wild, yet in many moments it was all so very quiet, contemplative, and we had to use whatever was at our fingertips to get through a pandemic.
Eric R. Dallimore