Diego Herman is a Belgian-Mexican artist graduated from the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Brussels. In his work, he approaches the landscape as a subject of political painting in the sense that even though no human figures are visible, it speaks about people and their way of living within the world that surrounds them. The significance of boundaries and borders in our perception of space is one of the themes addressed by Diego, who utilizes the motif of wire fencing as a powerful symbol of the hindrance to the free movement of bodies.
My paintings consist in a synthetic representation of elements from the urban and suburban territory.
I use the vocabulary of a globalised landscape as a start from which I explore the notions of property, habitat and alterity in compositions that show hybrid places.
One of the driving forces behind my work is my personal experience as a Belgian citizen from a multicultural household and the feeling of not belonging to any place in particular.
I like to think of the landscape as a political painting subject in the sense that even if no human figure is visible, it is about people and the physical evidence of how we live together.
What interests me in the act of painting these elements of scenery is that by becoming the focus of attention they reveal human weaknesses.
The distance involved by painting shows the efforts of a humanity that knows itself to be fragile and that tries to put a fence between itself and the world. A feeling of emptyness is also related to my works and I sense that it has something to do with the fragility mentionned above.
This is what speaks to me. I find it amusing to look for deep feelings in a lawn or a lamppost.
I am fascinated by the importance of limits and boundaries in the way we think about space. In the past years I have been working with the motif of the fence as a strong symbol of the obstruction to the free movement of bodies. I have found in it an industrial object which, through its constant form, is part of a universal vocabulary.
For me, the fence is not only a line of demarcation between two entities. It can be the embodiment of the violence of the contemporary world. The point zero of relationship, the denial of a common humanity that we would share with all, this barrier is a war against the idea of mobility and against the bodies that have made the mistake of moving.
Moreover, this motif allows me to work on many aspects of painting that interest me, such as movement, light, volume, repetition, the play of transparency and superimposition of planes.