Raúl Díaz Reyes

Artist selected by Torrente, Virginia at 2010
More artist content updated at 2016

Through my personal imagination, I reveal my internal circus, turning visual experience into a kind of intimate diary or autobiographical memory.

I try to bring people closer to my work, like drawing a reader towards a book they can touch or decipher.

I try to take the edge off a certain melancholic side to my work using cynicism, a sense of humour and coded messages.


1. What made you choose art as a profession?
I think it was more of a consequence than a choice, partly due my inability to do anything else well. Through my work I feel I release things that would otherwise oppress me if I had a profession other than art.

2. How would you define your work?
I think my work has undergone major changes in the last two years, so I can only talk about this period. A definition of my work is complete when a spectator pieces together the end of each of the short stories suggested by each piece; each one can give rise to different interpretations and in this sense I’d like to think that my role is to provoke or spark reactions to the works started on paper or canvas.

3. What subjects are you interested in?
For a while now in my work I’ve felt the influence of American iconography, old comics or hundreds of artists who express themselves mainly through drawing, as well as others whose work bears no relation to what I do. I love the work of Sophie Calle, for example. Music and film are also very important to me; I can feel their influence, and perhaps in an imperceptible way they have found their way into my work.

4. What resources – formal or otherwise – do you use in your work?
A sense of humour, irony, cynicism and melancholy are all present in the way I work with drawing and painting.

5. What relationship does your work have with reality?
What are your raw materials? I’m usually quite impulsive when working, so much of what I do comes instantaneously or automatically. However, reality has become very important in my work. My recent series are based on real-life situations which I alter by adding bits of my own imagination, trying to ensure a smooth, subtle transition that doesn’t scratch reality.

6. What, according to you, is the point of art?
I think it plays a clearly cathartic role, both in the creative process and in how works are received. I’d like to think that these spaces have come closer and the role of the artist is not so far removed from the audience’s reality. Art now takes parameters from the social world as a way of working.

7. How do you hope the public will receive your work? What audience are you aiming at?
At this stage, I think provoking any reaction other than indifference should be seen as a positive thing. I think it can be fun when people misinterpret what you wanted to say – different hypotheses about possible meanings all enrich my work.

8. What qualifications have you got? What do you value most from your time in education?
I come from the world of graphics, but I’ve rounded out by education by attending workshops. Art schools do a great job offering students very useful individual attention – if students know how to make the most of it. As someone who spends a lot of time alone in my studio, I really appreciate contact with people and the chance to see other people at work.

9. How would you define your current professional situation? And in the future?
Artists manage to continue working by carrying out projects they have to fight for, but there’s always the doubt as to whether you can make enough money to live on. I’m currently working on a solo exhibition in February curated by Virginia Torrente at the Centro de Arte Joven de la Comunidad de Madrid and enjoying a grant from the Fundación Arte y Derecho to create a small issue of art books. It’s an ongoing project with other artists called The Art Books Project. I love these kinds of books and hope to continue working in this area.

10. Many artists say it’s difficult to make a living from their work; how do economic considerations affect you when it comes to work? Do you think this has a bearing on your work?
It has a considerable effect. Not everyone can afford the space to carry out their work, for example. The negative thing is that this and other difficulties affecting people in this industry are unlikely to be heard unless you’re right at the top.

11. What do you look for or expect from your relationship with promoters and curators? What advantages and difficulties have you found with these relationships?
I look and hope for a relationship where there’s mutual respect for each other’s work. I’ve always had positive experiences with curators; in fact some projects have led on to others.

12. What do you think sets the arts scene in Madrid apart from elsewhere? What would you say are its pluses and minuses?
The Madrid scene has grown considerably in recent years, although this doesn’t mean there’s no room for further expansion. There are new spaces, many of them independent, with fresh ideas that increase your chances of showing your work to young artists. On the down side, there’s the economic aspect and the issue of professional recognition. There are plenty of examples of how this ‘recognition’ currently works: there are calls for projects every year offering the chance to exhibit, but that’s as far as the support goes. Each artist has to bear the cost of producing a work that cannot be sold. Artists need to be supported from a professionalised environment, not one based on cultural entertainment.



Curriculum vitae

Raúl Díaz Reyes
Madrid, 1977.
Vive y trabaja en/Lives and works in: Madrid


Formación Académica/Education
Seminário ID Bairro SP.01 Oficina de projectos. Mapear, explorar, visualizar e ativar, Centro Cultural de España en São Paulo.
VI Seminário Semestral de Curadoria, Faculdade Santa Marcelina, São Paulo.


Técnico superior en Gráfica Publicitaria, Escuela de Arte 10, Madrid.


Taller de Collage con Sean Mackaoui, La Casa Encendida, Madrid.


Curso Sobre Arte Digital y Videoarte, Círculo de Bellas Artes, Madrid.


Entre la Postgráfica y la Postfotografía, Fundación Pilar i Joan Miró, Mallorca.


Técnico Superior en Grabado y Técnicas de estampación, Escuela de Arte 10, Madrid.


Exposiciones Individuales (Selección)/Selected Solo Exhibitions
Um Encontro com pixadores (Showroom), Casa das Caldeiras, São Paulo.
Vitamina R. La Gesta Imposible, Circuito de la Noche en Blanco, Madrid.


Un paseo entre el dibujo, la pintura y un más allá, Centro de Arte Joven de la Comunidad de Madrid.


Always in love, Galería Alfara, Oviedo; Galería Brita Prinz, Madrid.


Exposiciones Colectivas (Selección)/Selected Group Exhibitions
Horizonte Vazado: Artistas Iberoamericanos en el filo, Instituto Cervantes, São Paulo.
La Fábula Mísitica, Galería masART, Barcelona.


SP Arte 2010, São Paulo International Art Fair, São Paulo.
La trama Invisible, Centro de Arte Moderno, Madrid.
The Art Books Project, Esquina Gallery, Madrid.
Gregorio Prieto Drawing Price, Gregorio Prieto Foundation, Valdepeñas; Sala La Lonja, Madrid.


La ropa Sucia se lava en casa, Emma Thomas Gallery, São Paulo.
De Madrid, el Suelo, Itinerant exhibition, Sofía Street Art Festival, Sofía, Bulgaria.
Open Call . A project by Brina Thurston, Location One, New York.
Inaugural Exhibit, Art:Raw Gallery, Nueva York.
Perrera, Arturo Herrera Cabañas Foundation, Pachuca, Mexico.
Hacerlo sólo no es lo mismo, Espacio Menosuno, Madrid.
Cincuenta y la madre, Alfara Gallery, Oviedo.


Doméstico’08, El Papel del Artista, Madrid.
D1NaCER0, Gráfica Digital, Sala Zuloaga, Fuendetodos, Zaragoza; Sala Okendo, San Sebastián.
Bon a tirer 17/10, Circulo de Bellas Artes de Madrid.
IV Exposición de Donaciones de Obra Gráfica a la Biblioteca Nacional: 1998-2002, Madrid.
Carmen Arozena International Graphic Award, Taller Gravura, Málaga.
Premio Jóvenes creadores de Madrid.


Triangel ein Grafikprojekt, Wien Madrid Bentlage, Kloster Bentlage, Rheine, Deutschland.
Textual, Center of Art Casa Duró, Mieres, Asturias; School of Arts Oviedo; CMAE, Avilés.
LAUS Awards, ADG-FAD de Barcelona.
Estampa 07, Stand Cabildo Insular de La Palma, Canarias.
Aprender a mirar, Sala de exposiciones del Distrito Retiro, Madrid.
De Madrid, el suelo, Offlimits and Espacio F, Madrid.


Becas y Premios/Awards and Grants
Beca Hangar Casa das Caldeiras, São Paulo. (Grant)
Beca Creación Artística Contemporánea Matadero Madrid. (Grant)
Honor Certamen de Arte Gráfico Carmen Arocena. (Mención de Honor/Honourable Mention)


Ayudas a la producción de Artes plásticas de la Comunidad de Madrid. (Beca/Grant)
Beca Ayudas a la Movilidad Internacional de Creadores Matadero Madrid, Emma Thomas Gallery, São Paulo. (Grant)


Beca The Art Books Project, Fundación Arte y Derecho. (Grant)
Convocatoria Sala de Exposiciones Centro de Arte Joven de Madrid.


Beca Fundación Druckwestatt Bentlage, Deutschland. (Grant)
Certamen de Arte Gráfico Carmen Arocena. (Mención de Honor/Honourable Mention)


Concurso de murales, Metro Madrid. (1º Premio/1st Prize)
Premio de Fotografía, Dirección General de Igualdad de Oportunidades de la Comunidad de Madrid. (2º Premio/2nd Prize)


Colección Fundación BBVA. (Adquisición de obra/Acquisition)


Beca de la Fundació Pilar i Joan Miró, Mallorca. (Grant)
Certamen de Arte Gráfico para Jóvenes Creadores, Calcografía Nacional. (1er Premio/1st Prize)


Certamen de Arte Gráfico de San Lorenzo del Escorial. (1er Premio/1st Prize)


Obra en Museos y Colecciones/Works in Museum and Collections
Fundació Pilar i Joan Miró, Mallorca.
Calcografía Nacional, Madrid.
Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, MNCARS, Madrid.
Fundación de Arte Contemporáneo BBVA, Madrid.
Biblioteca Nacional, Madrid.
Real Casa de la Moneda, Madrid.
Ayuntamiento de San Lorenzo del Escorial, Madrid.
Fundació de Comunicació Gráfica, Barcelona.
Fundación Kloster Bentlage, Rheine, Deutschland.
TEG, Taller experimental de gráfica, Guatemala.


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