Modern West is pleased to present Artist in Residence Amelec Diaz. His residency will span April 1 through May 31, 2021. An opening to celebrate the works finished during his time at Modern West will be held May 21, 2021. All are invited to attend.
Amelec Diaz is currently based in Salt Lake City, Utah. Diaz lived most of his life in Phoenix, Arizona and was born in Michoacán, Mexico. Diaz’s artistic practice absorbs socially complex imagery to create a kaleidoscope of archival cartoon characters, authentic graffiti and Pre-Columbian artifacts. An interdisciplinary artist, Diaz’s process is intense, utilizing multimedia layers on his paintings that include oil paint, acrylic, acrylic stucco, and spray-paint with a focus on archival integrity. Diaz works with several different mediums and highlights each material’s unique properties in a sculptural form.
Diaz has recently focused on a series depicting HB2281, a law banning ethnic studies in the K-12 educational system that was codified in 2010 in Tucson, Arizona, and later ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court. Using policy and politics as a base, much of Diaz’s work is founded on deep research and curiosity related to the memory and post-memory of a geographic area. Ancient Stone, Gold and Steel artifacts from the Americas are contrasted with cartoons or graffiti layered over remnants of memory - artifacts. The exciting nature of Diaz’s process fuel the gridded structure of his amalgamated objects.
In this residency, Diaz intends to continue his focus on HB2281 and protecting the Constitution of the United States. Although the body of work seems to focus on a microcosm in Arizona, in actuality the body of work exemplifies a macrocosm of the tense cultural relationship embedded in America and American politics. Diaz’s work and research continues as current laws and an executive order from the 45th presidential administration are now finding their way into the national University system. The executive order has obstructed efforts by corporations and universities to support diversity and anti-racist endeavors.
Amelec received his AAFA from Phoenix College as an Eric Fischl Scholar. He received a first place award in painting and in sculpture from the Phoenix College Annual Juried Student Show (2013), in addition he was awarded the Eric Fischl Vanguard Award (2013). His work has been featured at the Association of Joteria Arts and Activism’s national conference (2012) and has shown in group shows at Legend City Studios (2013), Modified Arts (2014) and Urban Arts Gallery (2020). Diaz also has shown his work in a solo-exhibition in the Eric Fischl Gallery (2014).