Thoughts of Alfredo Díaz Lloréns Marquetry.
By Juan Luis Díaz Nieto.
Part of Alfredo Díaz Lloréns plastic work is based on the art of marquetry which traces its origins back to 3500 b.c but did not become popular in the western world until the XIV and XV centuries, particularly in some of the monastic orders in Italy.Marquetry consists on using previously cut and shaped plain pieces of wood and place them in such a way that makes visible figures and forms, the pieces of wood can be painted to add to such effect, thee result, when used this way, is a painting of unconventional dimensions that catches the eye of the observer far quicker than a traditional painting. This form of art became very popular in Europe after it was introduced through the Islamic culture in the Middle East and northern Africa, it must be noted that geometry prevails here as a plastic element and it expanded westward through Italy, Germany, the Netherlands, Austria, France, England and to Spain which is a special case because it was the only country to combine both the European inspiration and the Islamic tradition in its version of the art, this is due to the Islamic invasion that had taken place prior.
Marquetry has been used by many artists who tend to develop an obsessive discipline attached to mysticism mainly because the technique requires a very high level of concentration and care to create highly detailed images. This technique has been used by prison inmates who isolate themselves in the concentration the work requires and which is commonly based on religious images. This technique has also been used by prison inmates who, through absorbing themselves within the concentration and care this art requires, isolate from their situation thus being free to experience something beyond of what they have known before and that they would not have done otherwise. This also combines with the fact that creating this work allows them to generate some income and so to further boost the feeling that they are transcending their captivity.It must be noted that the whole situation created by the inmates comes almost to a mystic state through the discipline they learn to apply on their everyday life and which helps them as labor and psychological support.
His contribution to this art consists on the use of far more detailed wooden pieces that create a visual flair one cannot fail to miss. These details on the pieces are the use of engraving on each piece that gives them texture and the shaping of each piece on the edge so it has a small cut down that creates a space between each piece. On the lines of thematic and composition he has achieved the convergence of the figurative representation in harmony with the geometric art, legacy of the Islamic tradition. Therefore his work is the result of a creative discipline that allowed him to find himself, and as Louis Pauwels would say; ‘Heaven is not reached by using wings but by using hands’ making a clear allusion to manual work as means to redemption.In the words of Alfredo himself: ‘After going down into the deepest of the hell that had grown within me because of my insecurities and fear I came to find the way out thanks to small flashes of light created by all those people to whom I’ve dedicated this exposition. So these paintings have been created as homage to those who saved the one who seemed lost forever.’