Diego Singh’s work is described by curator Dominic Molon as
“…constructing imaginary other worlds that function as self-portraits, radically expanding the possibilities of that artistic tradition… The work incorporates the viewer in the artist self-mythology wile remaining deliriously ambivalent about the boundary separating constructed self-identity and fictional license”.
In Singh’s paintings, drawings and sculptures the self is addressed as a territory open to investigation and play, where gender and historicity are in constant flux, and identity is thought of as a possibility that allows for a series of strategies that seek to reveal or obscure its own nature. For Singh, a painting that passes for a poster or that references sculpture is also a way for experimenting with the intersections that converge in the conception of a syncretism discourse.
In The Indirect Man, the self-portraits function as synthetic constructions where modernist discourses and mass media languages meet; cinematic techniques (zooms, fade outs) minimalism, surrealism, pop, fashion and primitivism… All the paintings use black as a main component?as both color and sign. Like in a night scene, the faces and forms become abstract, the subject is zoomed, cropped, eyes move, multiply or glow while quoting aspects of glam rock, drag culture or homelessness; avoiding direct representation in an atmosphere that is at once, excessive, androgynous and tragic.
In some, the canvas passes for a plastic bag becoming almost a sculptural object, another painting depicts a close-up of a mask or minimalist neon structures interacting with a set of eyes, or a mouth.
In all the works presented the self-portrait becomes “…an object of inference and not of perception, an object of culture and not of immediate or natural intuition”*1. In Singh’s project the status of the self-portrait or the self-portraitist will always retain a hypothetical character, giving the artist a performative role, where the audience constructs a narrative by reading the hints that are proposed.
This exhibition will include a life-size sculpture depicting an almost naked man (he wears gloves and a belt), seated as in one of the most traditional poses in classical sculptural portraiture. The figure has an oversized head that is both baroque wig and rock-alike construction, precariously supported by painted iron sticks.