BELA DIAZ. ARTIST STATEMENT
(see more by this artist)
My Dear Universe:
As you know I am most alive when thinking or encountering those who live outside “the box” so to speak. My “high” is creating something into that which it was not initially designed for, whether a word, an object, a room, a piece of clothing, a person, a blah, blah, blah…you get the picture. When I sat down to analyze this life of mine I realized a common thread that has run throughout has been an unusual number of near death experiences as well as extreme contrasts. From these experiences I live life accordingly – passionately, playfully, compassionately, experimentally, and with variety.
I landed on Earth (this life), May 27, 1952 in Sunnyvale, California
after a near strangulation by my umbilical cord…but managed to live…
At 2 near drowning in pond – managed to live….
At 4 near drowning in a lake – managed to live…
At 6 near killing in an abduction – managed to live…
At 22 near death in auto accident when broad sided by Lincoln Continental going 60 mph……managed to die a while but came back…….and managed to live.
So for whatever reason I am still here and so the story goes……
My father a very masculine 1st generation Spaniard, Ex-Marine, cabinetmaker, hunter, who would rather be in the mountains than submerged in society.
My red headed mother was of Irish descent from Texas married Dad (her 7 year elder) at 15 and never really grew up. She had an extraordinary voice and loved to sing, dance, be with people, use flamboyant colors but was not domestic at all, yes the opposite of Dad.
My Grandma Dee was my Guardian Angel who taught me about unconditional love, compassion, nurturing, and the balance of gentleness and strength. I was the youngest of 3 girls that I shared the orchards a great deal of time with as well as my 3 wild and hilarious male cousins, we deemed them “The Boys” and they deemed us “The Girls.”
Birth to 3 we lived in a tank house behind my Grandparents, my Dad’s shop behind and my cherry orchard playground surrounding. My mother opted for the middle class suburbs in Sunnyvale at 3 then Cupertino at 11 but luckily the orchards and mountains remained in my life. I was bare foot, sway back, pigeon toed, bucked teeth, shy and called Deborah Jean Diaz (SURPRISE!!) What I loved then I love now – mud, sun, birds, trees, veiled curtains that flow in the breeze, laughter, magic, hugs and kisses, dancing and twirling into an ocean of blisses (yes I make up words to force the rhyme.)
I loved participating in school activities such as gymnastics and water ballet, but my childhood dream was to dance ballet - so at 18 I began pursuing classes 6 days a week.
BAM! At 22 I was hit by the car and had a metal rod in my leg for a year but learned I had the ability to use my mind to walk when the muscles were torn.
I had a fear of college but decided if I lived it meant I had to face that fear so on crutches in the rain I went to discover I was hungry for knowledge!
My son was born when I was 24 and I loved being his full-time mom. His daddy was French and I had my first experience of a world bigger than my orchards – traveling to Europe. I made an attempt at my first business called “Naughty Navals” which were 9 body decals I designed to encircle the naval – Channel 2 News did a great piece to the sound track “She’s a Brick House” – pretty hot but no fortune made. I made a living in office administrative as well as began my journey into Middle Eastern Dance and performance until I had my daughter during my 2nd marriage to a South African. I was 29 and about 6 months prior he had almost been decapitated in a nearly fatal motorcycle accident. With hard work and perseverance by 32 we had our dream home that had been built in 1869. I dedicated myself to restoring it - I enjoyed knocking down walls (God I love sledge hammers), hanging sheetrock, painting, wall papering, restoring antiques and so on. After 15 years of marriage, the beautiful home, cars, security – BAM gone. This loss and the loss of my Grandmother more than devastated me. I was now in my early 40’s, my son had gone into the world to become a Designer and my daughter and I alone. This is when we made the move to the beautiful countryside of Corralitos, California.
TO BE CONTINUED