Cristian Diez Sanchez
Cristian Diez Sanchez
Born in Santiago de Chile he spent his youth working with copper in a family arts craft business that opened his mind to the world of sculpture. The 5 years of academic training were also spent in Chile studying architecture and when finished moved in early 1976 to Barcelona, Spain and began working as an industrial designer for living. And what should have been a short period turned into nearly 30 years working as an industrial designer, graphic designer and image consultant, varying in years and with different companies. And starting 2000, he expanded his skills in home renovation for several years and almost in parallel he was in charge of the development and management of a website of a tourist apartment company.
It was not until 2014, when his work began to slow down, that he was able to look back to the incipient work that had been left in the arts craft workshop in Santiago and decided that it was time to close the gap between both periods.
Having studied drawing, metal engraving, architecture and with all the years of experience as an industrial and graphic designer, he started out as a self-taught working in sculpture and using the materials nearest to him and to the ex-design studio that needed to be completely transformed, into a workshop more or less suitable to develop the work coming ahead.
The place itself has many limitations to be a true sculpture workshop, principally as it has very little natural ventilation. For a first step and experimentally, he decided to use the materials that could be more related to his previous work as designer, and with which he could work more easily; cardboard and recycled cardboard boxes, some pieces of wood, normal glue and different types of painting, adding also Tetra Brik boxes or dust marble as finishes. It must be said that all very cheap materials have allowed him to work intensely through the years without having to be in financial trouble.
Working all this time manually with basic tools and recycled materials has been an interesting exercise at the level of practice and development. This has served to highlight the meaning and importance of learning in the manual trades of artisan work in an industrialized world; in turn recovering in some way the organization of the work learned from an early age in the artisan workshop with the family, the importance of the arts and crafts.
The concept of Arte Povera is intimately linked to the base of the work carried out with the use of very basic materials and tools and also to the concept of Minimalism, trying to simplify the figure as much as possible to achieve a forceful expression with minimal elements. The work carried out is completely defined by these two bases adding Brutalism to Minimalism due to the expressive violence that the works, reduced to their minimum expression, manage to take from the creative base of their interior. The simpler the figure, the cruder is the reality it expresses, without traps or veils. The idea of going to base removing everything that could be superfluous has been a constant in his work, getting to an extreme in recent series where bare cardboard is the only material used for the work.
Here comes another basic concept, Rationalism, since nothing that has been done is improvised; the different stages have come organized to be able to build on them the following steps; nothing stays out of order.
With respect to the work carried out the theme varies constantly since it is a way of constantly forcing the imagination, with the need to have several projects in a row waiting to enter when another is finished without interruption; even also developing two different projects at the same time to keep the mind always working. Where the passion is there has to be work and more work planned.
Within all these Concepts the human being appears as the center of his work, with the different ways of relating to others that becomes the constant that relates everything. Expressed in different states of abstraction and in different ways of connecting to others, loneliness appears as a constant that ends up giving the order to the entire work.
It is recurrent to see human beings surrounded by people who not only do not help but can also create barriers and make it even more difficult to build relationships with others. As living together can become difficult, sometimes people look for ways to make living together even more difficult when the value of individualism trumps all others.
This moment of greater isolation as a consequence of the Covid pandemic, has shown more clearly how people react as individuals without thinking that the true solutions must be global on a global scale and not only protecting small groups; rich countries use all the resources they have, leaving all the rest of the world behind, not realizing that they will not do well that way. It’s not only politics but is the normal way of expressing the human being.
And all this time of reflection has allowed to see all the work carried out with a clearer perspective. Even knowing it almost from the beginning, that the work with recycled packaging cardboard, due to its characteristics, makes the finished pieces very fragile, being easily damaged also by the effects of humidity. Being clear that the low investment in materials has allowed working with great freedom,
speed and efficiency; without having to be linked to the world of galleries and without having to transform creative work into money. Bearing this in mind, the work carried out during these years has more the characteristic of prototypes or models, of projects to be developed in the future. It has been a very creative and fruitful learning period that now needs to be expressed in a different way. Also, when working on the pieces, the feeling was that they had to be much larger, impossible at the time, where the viewer is no longer passive, but can interact with the work, walking underneath, playing around or simply having the feeling that the viewer can be part of the work.
The learning years need to give way to a new different commitment.
In the coming years, after having been working mainly only with recycled cardboard packaging as a base for the last few years, the work should reach other dimensions. Recently in this last year and only as a start some experiments have been carried out in plywood and Corten steel as the first step in the evolution that is yet to come.
In a complicated future like the current one, when things have gotten more difficult, to get involved in industrial processes and come into contact with metal workers, foundries, wood workshops and the different new technologies of today’s world such as digitization of work and involvement in 3d prototypes for industrial processes is challenging.
Difficult moment also in which external financial resources will be needed. The craftsman in his workshop will need to go out and ask for support from Patrons or Sponsors and Curators to be able to transform the prototypes into real pieces of much larger sizes. It is the project of the future mixing the personal work of his workshop with the manufacturing processes. A great challenge full of unknowns that will need the support of investors to move forward.
Maintaining the concepts of Arte Povera and Minimalism that are the basis together also with the Rationalism of the work and the Brutalism as a way to impact the viewer who needs to become part of the work as well, the artist does not want to get away from his work but wants to be protagonist together with the viewer, making him not only a spectator but also a participant in the work, to share the experience. And the future remains to be seen.
Artist - Creative Worker
The word artist does not define my work because for me the concept of artist can be applied to any person who is excellent at their work.
A surgeon who has just redone an entire internal part of the body because of an accident or cancer is an artist; the engineers who design these great road structures with unimaginable bridges are artists, the chemist who plays with particles to find a new element is an artist. So the word artist generates in me a concept of excellence.
I am a creative worker who wants to express inner feelings with my work.
My figures are an expression of what I have lived and what I have learned, reflecting situations that I see.
My work is based on human relations. My interest is that the viewer who sees my work feels some emotion. My work is sensations, experiences, internal and external passions. The society in which we live is reflected a lot in my work as well as in my personal vision.
What I do is always related to the society in which we live and in part it could have a political meaning in the broad sense of the word.
It is not something gratuitous but it has a lot to do with my internal sensations, a reflection of the social and political moments that we live.
The creative worker is a kind of sponge that constantly absorbs what he sees and then expresses it in his own way, where the cultural roots of where we come from and live constantly come to the fore. He never gets rid of the ghosts that he has in his head and that are the ones that he has been absorbing in learning. And furthermore, the creative worker is never free to continue learning, he is linked to an evolving social environment, so his vision and his work also have to be constantly evolving. It doesn't stop for a minute because life never stops.
And having said this, the creative worker is not tied to the environment in which he lives, but rather reacts autonomously. It absorbs what it sees and processes it according to its needs and its vision. The creative process is there, in somehow reinterpreting what he sees and what he lives to transform it according to his personal moment.
The freedom of the creator is there, without ties, without pre-established concepts, without fashions or social patterns. It is the reflection of his personal moment with the internal conditions that he may have but with the freedom to reflect it according to his internal moment, which may be that in some circumstances the work is action and reaction of what he sees and experiences.
And therefore the work will always be linked to a certain time.
The creative worker, that sponge, lives in constant action and reaction to experiences. You cannot live apart from the environment in which you are immersed.
The leitmotif of the work realized in these years focuses on the human figure, the way in which he expresses himself, his movements and how he relates to his environment, often related to the confrontation between him and his environment that always leads to violence, the repression and the cruelty of power against the people that is repeated cyclically in history. Isolation and loneliness, lack of dialogue and misunderstanding are recurring themes expressed in the work that goes in series that follow one another or are intertwined in time.
The concept of Arte Povera is linked to the work carried out with the use of basic materials and tools and related also to the concept of Minimalism simplifying the figure to its limits and achieving a strong expression with minimal elements.
The work carried out is linked to the concept of Arte Povera through the use of basic materials and tools and also to the concept of Minimalism, with the simplification of the figure to the limit, achieving a strong expression with minimal elements.
Even though the work is completely defined by these two concepts, two others can be added; Brutalism through the expressive violence that the works, reduced to their minimum expression, manage to extract from the creative base within. The simpler the figure, the cruder the reality it expresses, without traps or veils. The idea of going to the base removing everything that could be superfluous, a constant in the work, has appeared even more clearly in recent series where the only material used is bare cardboard.
And Rationalism because nothing that has been done has been improvised; the different stages have been developed to build on them the following steps. They are all steps that need constant planning and organization without leaving anything to chance.
As for the work done, the theme varies constantly since it is a way of constantly forcing the imagination, with the need to have several projects in a row waiting to be developed when one is finished without interruption; or even develop two or three different projects at the same time to keep your mind always working. Where the passion is, there must be work and more work.
Within all these variables, the human figure is the center of the work and the human being and his ability or not to relate to others is the constant that relates everything. Expressed in different states of abstraction and in different ways of relating to others, solitude being a constant that ends up giving order to the entire work.
The combination of the concepts developed before the Covid, more evident on the periods of lockdown, came at the time when the work was evolving, expanding and beginning the relationship with technology and the industrial world, making the creative worker the protagonist of his action; at the same time a subject of reflection on his relation with the environment and on his work, mixing the world of trades and technological process with the concepts used at the beginning of Minimalism and Arte Povera.
The work that continued to move between the values of decomposition, loneliness and movement in a moment of personal confinement, prior to the pandemic, opens as a reaction against Covid to new personal ideas and a different vision of work adding values of movement and exercise, to fight against the stagnation in the pandemic. Dancing and training become healing motifs. Exercise of cleansing of mind and body and of movement, related to music, functioning as a personal instrument and also as a way of relating to others by sharing experiences