Interview: Harold Diaz

1. Please, introduce yourself, tell us a little bit about you.

I’m a self-taught collage artist and photographer who resides in Brooklyn, NY. I’m a lover of winter, good horror flicks, neurology and cats. It’s in my bones to care and help others, which is why I’m a nurse and massage therapist by trade.

2. Recent, current or future projects you are involved in that you would like to share with us?

I recently curated a photographic book for Atem Books and Impossible Colour that was released in Spain. The selected photographs came from a variety of genres, including conceptual, biological and medical imagery. Most recently, I was part of the second The Age of Collage group show in Germany, curated by Dennis Busch. I was thrilled to be amongst such great artists , including John Stezaker and Beni Bischof. I’m fascinated by the dynamics of physiological fluids, so one future photographic project aims toward that end. A self-published photographic book is also in the horizon.

3. What kind of things do influence your work?

It’s certainly a hot mix. Sometimes it’s visual or literal inspirations from films or books. Other times it’s conceptual play with a theme or thought. Yet other times it’s a raw and unpremeditated response to colors, patterns and tones. So I keep my creative grounds fertile and open. Influence is relatively vast.

4. How is your normal process of collaging? (idea or commission, where do you get your materials or find your images, which is your cutting technique, best way you have found to paste, where do you work and how, and very important: what do you do with your scraps)

The urge usually surfaces in late hours of the night. It’s almost as if I’m a nocturnal vampire on a hunt for images. Virtually, I search the web for imagery that hold aesthetic and conceptual potential. I’m fascinated by medical, biological and vintage photographs, so my search may include them. The process is mainly digital, where I virtually layer, crop and create my own little world with the click of a mouse. My image archive is quite vast, as I normally search and keep images for future use.

5. Wich is your latest discovery in the collage world? What advice can you give to a collage beginner?

I’m fascinated by the amount of talented collagist out there. Some of the work in The Age of Collage exhibit is really great, not to mention the artists included in The Weird Show exhibit. For a “beginner”, I definitely advise one to visually and organically connect with your image material. Drop all preconceived notions of reality, shape and form. Keep your potentials high and vast, as you’re ultimately creating a world that is as removed from traditional reality, as it is real as your own mind.

6. What do say your friends/family about your collage work? And, what do you do when you are not working on art?

I generally get good support from friends. My parents may nod their heads in confusion, which is always good fun. When I’m not collaging or photographing, I love a good run, a good horror flick or lovely times with family and friends.