Enduring Art

Welcome to Mikel Diaz's Enduring Art Gallery

As a small boy growing up in Caracas, Venezuela, Mikel was mesmerized by his ability to capture the likeness of his favorite subjects on paper.  Mikel spent countless hours sketching his pets, his family and friends, and the animals at the family ranch in rural Venezuela.  His passion for sketching led Mikel to work on perfecting his drawing skills under the guidance of the Uruguayan illustrator and portrait artist, Antonio Galeandro.  Mikel subsequently joined a select group of artists at the studio of Maestro Pedro Centeno Vallenilla, one of the most renowned Venezualan visual artists of the 20th century.  Mikel’s training paid off:  he won First Prize in the pastel category at the Gallería Coquí in Puerto Rico (1981), and at the Cubeck Center of the University of Miami (1982). 

Despite his passion, training, talent, and early success, family pressures drove Mikel to become a lawyer, and he eventually made his way to Washington, D.C., where he pursued graduate studies at the School of International Affairs at American University.  By the late 1990’s Mikel had become a fixture in Virginia’s horse country, enjoying the wide-open spaces, long trail rides, and the occasional fox chase.  After a long hiatus, Mikel returned to painting, concentrating on commissioned pastel and oil portraits of horses, riders, and fox hounds. 

Mikel Diaz
Mikel in his home studio

Mikel always admired the masters that form the South American School of Realism that includes Claudio Bravo, Renato Mezzeat, and others.  In particular, the work and technique of his late Argentinean mentor, Peter Von Artens, inspired Mikel to embark on painting elegant still life compositions featuring orchids in bloom and objects reflecting on polished surfaces.  Mikel strives Elan Coverto render joy in every painting by carefully selecting objects, colors, and backgrounds that evoke tranquility and bliss.

With his recent series of still life compositions featuring Venetian carnival masks, Mikel enters the realm of Magic Realism.  This is a world where the objects on the canvas are in perfect form and proportion, but reveal an internal mystery; a hint of deeper meaning.  Mikel is drawn to the beauty, craftsmanship, and elegance of the masks.  But he is also fascinated by their power to obscure and obfuscate.  Even when they are the center of attention, they never reveal their secrets.

Mikel’s latest works are exhibited for sale at the Galeria del Sol in South Beach (Miami Beach), FL. Mikel’s past work has been exhibited in Caracas, Puerto Rico, Miami, Atlanta, Toronto, New York, Boston, Chicago, and ‘closer to home’ in Charlottesville, Middleburg, and Leesburg, Virginia.  His work has been published on the cover of the Chronicle of the Horse, an equestrian magazine with nationwide circulation.  The February 2007 issue of Elan – a regional fine arts magazine – also featured Mikel’s work on its cover accompanied by a full-length article.  The Golden Thread is exhibited as part of the permanent collection at the Museum of Hounds and Hunting in Leesburg.

When not painting, Mikel is an avid equestrian and is particularly enthusiastic about playing polo at the Great Meadow Polo Club in the Plains, VA.

© 2003-11 Enduringart.com