Didi does not consider her-self an artist. She sees herself just a human being who uses expression to explore her own feelings and personal pathos. Like many innovative minds her creations seem to come from a deep longing to make physical the ephemeral aspect of herself. She tells me that her art is “carbon lines of pain trying to be pretty” and I can all but see the smile in the digital script we are using to communicate as I read the words. It is not often that I come across contemporary art that actually moves me in an emotional sense. Didi’s art moves me and it inspires me as an artist to push my own creative endeavors to their limit.
Her work is ethereal and light in a way that inspires a sort of waking reverie. It is so delicate as to be almost a momentary play of shapes and faded color, like the play of dawn-light on a clean white bedspread. Most of her compositions depict young women in dishabille or nude, many with whispy hair and enormous eyes that convey an enormous array of emotions depending on the subject of the piece. Some of the girls take on other exaggerated features and even possess animal attributes; antlers, feline eyes, tentacles. Nature plays an important role in all of her pieces and a nymph-like air is apparent in all of her characters.
Hers is a unique style and this is never more apparent than when one takes a closer look at the bodies and faces of her figures. The women are almost all mouth-less, and when they do possess this physical feature it is de-emphasized so much as to make it almost a physical imperfection or blemish. The story of the character is told through her eyes and through her exotic and often erotic poses and accouterment. In the work entitled “ojo de dios” (God’s Eye) Didi decorates the brown locks of her subject with handmade god’s eyes made from sticks and colored string. I small bird pulls on one of these strings and lifts it up and away, given the surprising headdress a connection to the airy world of spiritual thought and contemplation. This woman does not possess a mouth but she has eyes aplenty; she can see beyond herself and the limitations of her simple world beyond to a more transcendent realm. All the while there is a folk charm to the piece that grounds it in the real world of a young Mexican woman and her hopes, fears, and personal pain.
This pain is evident in most of the pieces I have had the pleasure to contemplate. It is not a desperate pain or a self-pitying agony; rather it is a mature exploration of the everyday throbbing of a heart that feels almost too acutely the world around itself. Few of the figures look sad or forlorn themselves but many exhibit signs of physical trauma; holes where heart and lungs should be, bruises and cuts, broken noses and swollen eyes. These women have been through a physical ordeal but they seem empowered and strengthened by whatever travails they have had to deal with. One gets the feeling that these women gave much better than they got.
I asked Didi what her favorite piece was. She directed me to a lovely piece based upon the mythical story of Narcissus and Echo. Narcissus, the vain youth who rejected all love in favor of self-worship is approached by the beautiful nymph Echo, who is known to be a talkative and lively creature. He rejects her as he has everyone else and she melts away into a ghostly form and then eventually nothing is left of her but her soft beckoning voice. The composition consists of a young womanly spirit gliding through a solemn forest, her hair billowing about her like smoke. Her hands grasp her own throat, choking the life and the voice from her spirit form. Tears stream from her oddly pensive eyes and her cheeks are ruddy against her pale skin. Her heart is visible to all through a gaping black wound in her stomach; the heart takes the places of the stomach, the area of the body where emotional pain takes its most acute form. As with most of her women the breasts are exposed. They are small and firm and youthful, drawn lovingly and with a clear reverence for and love of the female body. Echo is a real beauty and a compelling character and the piece is truly a joy to behold.
Didi herself is a special woman. She has a point of view that is profoundly simple and honest a midst a sea of shock-and awe graphical depictions of women and pain. She is a sea breeze in a balmy room, and a refreshing example of introspection not abused as a form of self-conscious self-exploitation. She is honest and she is kind and she shows her love for the world and for herself with an imaginative oeuvre that can challenge jaded art aficionados who have seen far too much self-pity and artistic violence. Hers is a kind sadness, a gentle torment. She is a remarkable talent and like Frieda Khalo or José Clemente Orozco she is a true representative of a unique Mexican art scene that continues to evolve and challenge our assumptions. Beyond that she is a beautiful person who I know will continue to move and inspire me. I am happy to count her among my friends.