Categories
Exhibits

The Unrepeatable, a solo show by Diana Martin

An image that awakens stories.
A story that unfolds images.

Diana Martin’s exquisite work dwells between visual and reading experiences. It’s laying eyes upon an image and recognizing one or two narratives in it, stories that stick with you, and finally become part of what makes reality less sad, less deceitful. A story from which images flutter around, a book that becomes more and more real, both deeply personal and irreplaceable illustrating that moment in which we read. The drawing of a serpent swallowing an elephant. “My drawing does not represent a hat. It represents a boa serpent digesting an elephant”.

Index

Statement

The Unrepeatable is a series of inks and drawings on paper, nurtured by visual artist Diana Martin’s non-stop work of more than twenty years. It is a curatorship of her current work in the company of Serafina’s story, unicorn woman of infinte literary and visual resources.

Like a kaleidoscope of stories, joint, intertwined and engaged; or even continued or disaggregated around Serafina and other characters, whomever visits this show will have the opportunity, as would a reader in front of a book, to wander across the stories enclosed in an image, to imagine and draw inspired by the characters and, above all, to read beyond all other mediums and disciplines.

Serafina, her shoebill storks, her surrogate mothers, her ties to the world, the joys and sorrows that color her life are permeated by that bittersweet awe that comes from knowing that its beauty is impermanent, that everything in the world has an end, and that nothing lasts forever. Serafina, as a hybrid being in possession of a prolonged life, will be there to shelter the life and death of everyone she loves with tempestuous tenderness. Very much unlike her mother Gilda, hell-bent on preserving unicorns, a species doomed to an unavoidable and natural extinction, Serafina allows herself to be deeply moved by the finitude of things. Gilda, engaged on a sterile quarrel with death and endings, loses her life bringing into the world this long-lived lover of the ephemeral, a devoted beholder, a being almost the polar opposite of her.

About Diana Martin

Mexican visual artist, she has been professionally drawing since 2001, when she held her first solo exhibition. Having been filling entire blank notebooks with drawings since very young and can’t recall a time in her life when she wasn’t drawing. Telling stories through images, creating fascinating characters that are born directly from her experiences with the world has always been her thing.

Her stories unfold in the same universe, “The Wrong Side of Town”, her favorite instruments to weave them: graphite and ink. Her first character was Siax Lanke, a hermit living in lockdown, perennially in fear of the ringing of his phone, then came Klodia Columbario, a one-eyed woman who, with the help of her scalpel knows where to cut to empty the emotions burdening people’s hearts.

Later, Errut Trastabire came to life to take her place in front of the ocean, and Lavinia Borromeo, a vodevil performer discovering that her devoted audience have always been ghosts, turned into Klodia’s dearest friend, both listening to each other with undivided attention while in the deep meandering alleys of the wet city, Selma Lúnula mends broken umbrellas for The Damp Ones and apeaces the suffocating fish that writhe non-stop in her chamber, never finally dying.

She also weaved The Pursuers, a story about a couple that, after a serendipitous encounter, sailed together into the Big Sea, on a boat built from a splinter, with a rose petal for a sail, before meeting her own shipwreck and having to swim apart from each other to the coast, never to be together again.

In three memorable occasions, Diana brought her work even closer to her audience in an unique and immersive way by the “Art Tasting” show format, in which she provided gloves and magnifying glasses to the attendees, who enjoyed the pieces with no frame nor glass while she deepened on the story and answered questions. 

Diana has focused on the production of personal work for two decades, and her stories have been exhibited in different venues around the world. Her book, “Serafina y el Ardid Insondable” (Serafina and the Unfathomable Ruse) was chosen to represent Mexico in the International Graphic Novel and Comic Book Fair of Angouleme, France in 2018.

In February of 2020, she took one of her most recent characters, Lord Diadema, to Tokyo, where she held a pop up exhibit at Desing Festa Art Gallery in the heart of the dyamic Harajuku neighborhood.

During 2021, she exhibited this selection of works in the Javier Arévalo Art Gallery in Zapopan, Mexico, under the title “Entrelíneas, soñamos en blanco y negro” (“Between the lines, we dream in black and white”).

Artwork

“Place of birth”
Ink and graphite on paper
28 x 39 in | 73 x 100 cms.
2021
“The rescue”
Graphite and gold ink on paper
39 x 28 | 100 x 73 cms.
2021
“Lord Diadema and his narwhals”
Ink, graphite and watercolor on paper
39 x 28 in | 100 x 73 cms.
2022
“This gray-haired life”
Ink and watercolor on paper
7 x 8 in | 18 x 20 cms.
2022
“Uroko and Serafina”
Ink on paper
4 x 10 in | 10 x 25 cms.
2021
“A storm is coming”
Ink on paper
10 x 4 in | 25 x 10 cms.
2021
“Brother and sister”
Ink on paper
10 x 4 in | 25 x 10 cms.
2021
“Moonbath for two shoebill chicks”
Ink on paper
10 x 4 in | 25 x 10 cms.
2021
“The one-horned daughter”
Ink on paper
10 x 4 in | 25 x 10 cms.
2021
“With life on her back”
Ink on paper
10 x 4 in | 25 x 10 cms.
2021

“Stillness and flight”
Dyptych. Ink on paper
10 x 4 in | 25 x 10 cms each piece.
2021

“I found an honesty and maturity in ink applied with brush that I didn’t know I was looking for, its uneven edges, its textures upon paper, the feeling of not being in control was exhilarating. On the other hand, I had to be very precise and clear about what I wanted to draw. In the middle of both feelings this series was born, and from the technique, feelings and symbols flowed”.

“The fight on the beach”
Polyptych, five pieces. Ink on paper
4 x 10 in | 10 x 25 cms each.
2021
“Journey to Hybrid Island”
Ink on paper
10 x 4 in | 25 x 10 cms.
2021
“A tiny mirror”
Ink and watercolor on paper
4 x 10 in | 10 x 25 cms.
2022
“There are more like you”
Ink and watercolor on paper.
4 x 10 in | 10 x 25 cms.
2022
“Rituals in time”
Four piece polyptych. Ink on paper
4 x 10 in | 10 x 25 cms each of the long pieces, 2.3 x 2.3 in | 6 x 6 cms each of the square ones.
2022
“An umbrella for three”
Ink on paper
10 x 4 in | 25 x 10 cms.
2021
“Studio portrait of Serafina with Uroko and Liquidámbar”
Ink on paper
10 x 4 in | 25 x 10 cms.
2021
“Uroko encourages Serafina”
Ink on paper
10 x 4 in | 25 x 10 cms.
2021
“Once, a forest was here”
Ink on paper
10 x 4 in | 25 x 10 cms.
2021
“A secret inside a tree”
Ink on paper
10 x 4 in | 25 x 10 cms.
2021
“Do not bite the hand that feeds”
Ink on paper 
10 x 4 in | 25 x 10 cms.
2021
“To feed the little beasts”
Ink on paper
10 x 4 in | 25 x 10 cms.
2021
“Making sure both survive”
Ink on paper
10 x 4 in | 25 x 10 cms.
2021
“A stroll through the city”
Ink on paper
10 x 4 in | 25 x 10 cms.
2021
“Mimic”
Ink on paper
10 x 4 in | 25 x 10 cms.
2021
“When Serafina loved the Elasmotherium”
Ink on paper
10 x 4 in | 25 x 10 cms.
2021
“Birdbath”
Ink on paper
10 x 4 in | 25 x 10 cms.
2021
“Ephemeral Mother”
Ink on paper
4 x 10 in | 10 x 25 cms.
2021
“Sleep guardian”
Ink on paper
10 x 4 in | 25 x 10 cms. 
2021
“The ever present absence”
Ink on paper
10 x 4 in | 25 x 10 cms.
2021
“A pleasure to meet you”
Ink on paper
4 x 10 in | 10 x 25 cms.
2021
“The heavy flight, the light step”
Ink on paper
10 x 4 in | 25 x 10 cms.
2021
“Two unicorns”
Ink on paper
4 x 10 in | 10 x 25 cms.
2022
“Gazing duel”
Ink on paper
4 x 10 in | 10 x 25 cms.
2021
“New lands beyond the sea”
Graphite on paper
28 x 39 in | 73 x 100 cms.
2018

Zapopan exhibit

Curatorial characteristics

  • For “Entrelíneas, soñamos en blanco y negro”, the exhibit was planned as a solo show comprised of several features in the work of the guest artist, Diana Martin, her body of work in black and white, being a graphic storyteller and having worked with Angouleme. 
  • The artist work was curated from what we called “narrative cores”: a series of drawings that museographically work as separate stories, in sets of four of five pieces, in chronological order and aided by sketches (as before and after references). As a whole, the exhibit worked like an open, willing book, to the personal and collective reading, enriching the visitor experience.
  • In order to establish her first contact with the public, the artist was invited to paint an in-situ mural featuring one of the protagonists of the graphic story. Also, to encourage interaction with the public, a large-scale vinyl character was placed on the walls. Many visitors enjoyed taking pictures side by side with her.

Technical specifications

  • Five narrative cores or 43 pieces of small format. Inks and graphite on paper (variable dimensions)
  • Four pieces of large format (39 x 40 in  | 100 x 73 cms) 
  • Over 80 square meters
  • Over 30 lineal meters of exhibition
  • White background

Museographic display furniture

  •  Glass/acrylic covers measuring 39 x 40 in | 100 x 73 cms in for the narrative cores and glass/acrylic for the protection of the small pieces
  • Frames, glass and installation for large formats
  • Art supplies for the execution of the in-situ mural

Museographic Budget 

The amounts portrayed here can vary according to the country and city the exhibit is held in. Prices exclude taxes.

  • Rigid acrylic sheets: $250 USD.
  • Decorative vinyls (character and signature): $150 USD.
  • Gallery text with logos: $150 USD.
  •  Framing of two large format pieces: $150 USD.
  •  Supplies used to mount the small format pieces to the wall: $75 USD.

Activities held around the exhibit

  • Guided visits by the artist herself were offered for small groups with prior reservation to good attendance, enriching the audience’s experience by explaining the the story, meaning, symbolisms, technique and characters of each individual piece. She also answered questions and engaged in meaningful conversation around her work.
  • Live readings of passages from “Serafina y el Ardid Insondable” were held in the same guided visit session.
  • Workshop/conversation around character creation and basic tips for drawing with ink and brush were offered as well.
  • Virtual visit in 4K at the YouTube Channel also available.

Promotion and advertising

Press

Zapopan exhibit credits

  • Gerardo Asencio, Head Director of Zapopan Culture Department
  • José Luis Coronado, Director of Heritage of the Zapopan Culture Department
  • Dolores Garnica, Curator
Diana drawing live at the Angouleme booth in the Graphic Novel and Comics aisle of the Guadalajara International Book Fair.
Standing next to the wall text of the “Serafina and Lord Diadema” solo show at the Universidad Panamericana, Guadalajara Mexico.
Guided visit of the Angouleme City Hall guests to the “Serafina and Lord Diadema” solo show.
Opening night of the solo show “Strange Acquiantances” and presentation of the “Juan Peregrino does not save the world” book at the Raúl Anguiano Art Gallery of the Mexican Consulate of Los Ángeles, California.
Shot of the opening speech of the “Strange Acquiantances” solo show at the Los Angeles Mexican Consulate.
Deeply admired, Guadalajara born, fellow Mexican film maker Guillermo del Toro shows his copy of “Serafina y el Ardid Insondable”

Host The Unrepeatable in a Museum

The journey of Serafina and her shoebills is only but beginning. It started in the artist’s hometown, spreading its wings to reach broader audiences around the world. This is a presentation aims to take it, like Serafina does in her story, across the ocean, to be seen by many eyes and felt by many hearts who love the art of draughtsmanship and narrative. The show at the Design Festa Gallery in Tokyo was a great stimulus and an experience we want to repeat on a larger scale.

The fabric of this story continues to be sewn by the author, who is still drawing pieces for this series, yet the number of pieces to be exhibited can be adjusted according to the needs of the curatorial criteria.

Even though we would like to have a larger promotion and are open to collaborate with the media for interviews, sponsorships and even accommodating a small souvenir shop as part of the exhibit, these are not strict requirements for the show to happen. Right now, our goal is to little by little, earn a place in the hearts of the public.

Therefore we are open to negotiate the minimum requirements for it to become a reality, holding the show and collaborating together. With our best wishes and openness to dialog in this spirit of revival and intercultural and artistic exchange, we offer our full disposition, time, means and adaptability for this project to reach as wider an audience as possible.

Thank you for lending us your eyes and your precious time. Serafina can’t wait to land where she is welcomed and share her ever ongoing and unrepeatable story.

Diana Martin
diana@dianamartin.net

Categories
Blog

What should have been, what it is, what it will be

Diana Martín, newsletter
October 2020 

Press play if you want me to read this for you. Please scroll down to see the pictures as well.

Dearest all, 
In a normal year, an usual year on which one more or less can project and look and see what shape the future is coming, predict what will likely happen and make a reality of what inhabits our heads, this mail would carry the joyous news of my new exhibit/art tasting, you would be knowing about what venue it would be taking place in, what time, and then, that delicious expectation that has always had the virtue of getting me as excited as it makes me nervous would begin to build up.
My visit in person to many of you would begin too, I would deliver a printed invitation to each of you, say hi and share a hug.

But the year is 2020, nothing about it has been typical or predictable and because of the situation having the entire world holding its breath, this year I won’t be able to hold that party my annual event has been on almost every year of my career. 

This months have found me focused. The nature of my work demand a solitude and confinement that have only been increased by the current events. I am working on what should have seen the light this year, I have been scheming, sometimes in hope, others in anxiety, waiting for the landscape to clear and be able to see each other as before. 

All in all, this year I did have an exhibition. On January and February I traveled to Japan, I set up a pop-up show in Tokyo having a warm and generous welcome by the japanese public. I locked myself for an entire day in my hotel room at Hakodate while outside a blizzard roared, the first I had ever seen in my life, to draw small format pieces that I exhibited among other drawings I took with me in the trip for this purpose. 

In Design Festa Gallery, Harajuku, Tokyo, 2020

During this trip I discovered the startling beauty of winter, with its world devoid of color, its skies as huge metallic mirrors, the blindingly white freshly fallen snow crunching under my feet, an absolute silence where you can hear the cautious chirping of the birds when they come to perch on top of the tree’s most delicate branches, and still perceive the most subtle of sounds: the sigh the snow makes  as it falls off the tree and hits the forest floor among the prodigious light of its early twilights. 

Our neighborhood in Sapporo, Hokkaido

I was witness of a world that echoed with the one I have been drawing for many years. I discovered that it does exist, that I  can walk through it.

Risshaku Temple, Yamadera

In 2021 I plan to return with a bigger, better planned exhibition, applying the lessons I learned from this one. My next two books: Lord Diadema and his Dodo, and Serafina’s new one are still in the oven. The first will be released in 2021, from the second, its large-format drawings will form the body of my next exhibition.  It will be a series of highly elaborate atmospheric works in which I seek to reflect the emotional landscape, the inner world of Serafina, sometimes so full of silence, the silence of those who are holding their breath, a living and spectating silence.  In other drawings, her silence is like a void waiting to be filled.Starting in January, I will fully begin to close the Lord Diadema series and continue with this thread of Serafina.

Serafina and her shoebill stork babies

I also want to share with you that these months have found me drawing the most important commission of my career: it is a paraphrase of The Garden of Earthly Delights by Bosco in graphite and gold ink. I was never fully prepared for the magnitude of this project that has pushed me to break my limits, to gain more confidence, to resolve compositionally and technically as never before in a technique that I thought I already knew in depth.

Fragment of the paraphrase of the first panel (Paradise) of The Garden of Earthly Delights

I have studied the original work inch by inch to adapt it, to understand its hidden order and to be able to introduce new elements, symbols and portraits according to the wishes of my dear collectors.  It makes me very happy that this triptych is getting closer and closer to embellish their living room, I hope they see it every day and discover more and more details.  It has been a labor of great concentration and love.

Karaoke, fragment of the second panel (Purgatory) of my paraphrase of The Garden of Earthly Delights

And finally, it is also at this time of the year when I launch the Collectors Program, this noble and flexible modality that has operated for years under the premise of trust is what has allowed me to continue advancing in my career,  it enables and shelters me.You can purchase original work paying from eighty usd each month, either for a piece that already exists or you can accumulate balance and have priority to see the finished drawings before the next event and choose the one you like best.  You can join the Program whenever you decide and support the flight of things that no longer exist.

I am fully available to answer any questions or concerns you may have regarding the Program.  You can send me an email or contact me through my social networks.  I’m constantly walking around, being here and there, but almost always at my drawing desk.

I hug you tight, keeping you present more than ever, hoping that you are well sheltered and safe in these strange, uncertain times, and that your days are long and happy.

Thank you for all this years, 

Kisses,
Diana Martin

Categories
Blog

Lux, la regalaojos|Lux, the eyegiver

Categories
Blog

Extraños Conocidos|Strange Acquaintainces

Categories
Blog

Saskia en el Subterráneo|Saskia on the Subway

Categories
Blog

Los Perseguidores|The Pursuers

Categories
Blog

Siax Lanke|Siax Lanke

Categories
Blog

Selma Lúnula|Selma Lunula

Categories
Blog

Saskia Lumosi y sus tías de ojos naranja|Sakia Lumosi and her orange-eyed aunts

Categories
Blog

Lavinia Borromeo|Lavinia Borromeo

Categories
Blog

Klodia Columbario|Klodia Columbario

Categories
Blog

Errut Trastabire|Errut Trastabire

Categories
Blog

Conjuros Imperfectos|Imperfect Spells

Categories
Blog

Nadir|Nadir

Categories
Blog

Mirna de Ciglia y su secreto vestido interminable|Mirna de Ciglia and her secret endless dress

Categories
Blog

Retratos de Gourmets|Gourmet Portraits

Categories
Blog

Anja y Su Paraguas de Cuatro Patas|Anja and her four-legged umbrella

Categories
Blog

Un Ave Canta en el Cuarto Piso|A bird sings on the fourth floor