Mariángeles Soto-Díaz


Artist-generated statement, 2015

Most of my work has implicit connections to my native country, Venezuela, where oil production made the promise of modernism more tangible, and its failure more poignant, than elsewhere in Latin America. I ruminate on the future of abstraction while glancing back at Venezuela's collapsed modernist project – its chromatic remains – through the fracturing prism of contemporary conditions. I combine conceptual processes with Latin American and North American traditions of abstraction; I like to think of abstraction both as a language in dire need of hacking, and as a broad practice which includes painting in the expanded field. My material practice is neither settled nor static, working with paint, junk mail, digital media, ink, slides, spices, UPC codes, and Craigslist discards as needed, but my favored material is paradox: the promise and perils of utopian abstraction, political formalisms, universal specificities, and the underlying order of chaos.


Electronically generated artist statement, 2015 [ via ]

Soto-Diaz is an artist who works in a variety of media. By thinking through abstraction, Soto-Diaz creates oddly surprising works created by means of rules and omissions, acceptance and refusal, luring the viewer round and round in circles.
Her artworks bear strong political references. The possibility or the dream of the annulment of a (historically or socially) fixed identity is a constant focal point. By applying a poetic and often metaphorical language, she wants to amplify the astonishment of the spectator by creating compositions or settings that generate tranquil poetic images that leave traces and balances on the edge of recognition and alienation.
Her works don't reference recognisable form, or maybe they do. The results are deconstructed to the extent that meaning is shifted and possible interpretation becomes multifaceted. With the use of appropriated elements, materials borrowed from a day-to-day context, she uses a visual vocabulary that addresses many different social and political issues. The work amasses time as well as space – a fictional and experiential universe that only emerges bit by bit if you have the patience.
She creates situations in which everyday objects are altered from their natural function. By applying specific combinations and certain manipulations, different functions and/or contexts are created. By merging several seemingly incompatible worlds into a new universe, she presents everyday objects as well as references to texts, painting and architecture. Ridiculous writings and utopian constructivist designs are given new life with trivial objects. Categories are subtly reversed. Her works appear as dreamlike images in which past and future meet, well-known tropes merge, meanings shift. Time and memory always play a key role, but you may not always feel it. Soto-Diaz currently lives and works in Southern CA, where she laughs a lot when she's not working or reading.