Transitions to Landscape | Artist Interview
Published July 15th, 2022
CAPTURING THE ETHEREAL
( internalizing reality )
Diego Glazer was born in Omaha, Nebraska, but was raised in Querétaro, Mexico. Glazer also holds Swiss nationality which has exposed him to a variety of cultures from an early age. As an emerging artist exploring the infinite possibilities offered by oil painting, Glazer seeks to create ambiguous, yet tangible atmospheres tinged with a nostalgic vibe.
Glazer began his career as an artist by participating in several workshops in Querétaro, including a painting course with Mexican realist artist Ramsés de la Cruz. Glazer then went on to study a degree in visual arts at the Instituto Allende, in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, where he studied impressionist methods with Guillermo Guerrero, while at the same time refining other painting techniques. In 2014, Glazer moved to Florence, Italy, where he completed the three-year programme in Drawing and Painting at the Angel Academy of Art. There Glazer learned the academic methods of the 19th century French school of painting which awakened a passion for conveying his vision of beauty.
Land of Plenty (detail), Oil on Canvas, 60 x 72 x 1.50 in
As an image-maker it seems that you have focused more in the past on small scale plein air, human figures, and still-life paintings. What has drawn you in this new direction to create landscapes on this scale?
Diego: In 2021 I relocated to Colorado, moving back to the States after living in Mexico most of my life. The magnificence of the natural surroundings compelled me to represent the landscape in this commanding format, as a statement of the massive transition I made moving to Denver to further my career. These paintings are, in a way, a self portrait. Having grown up in a place where an artist is unlikely to make it, I’m hoping to cause an impact upon my return to the States.
Stalemate, Oil on Canvas, 60 x 72 x 1.50 in
Can you tell me a bit more about the title of a recent piece “Stalemate”? I would love to understand the context for that name with that piece.
Diego: This large oil painting is a bold, yet carefully studied portrait of a boulder. It shows the clash between two forces that won’t budge, in a permanent stalemate. The soft ephemeral cloud eavesdropping on this eternal moment through the tree branches. This painting is meant as an ode to the beauty and depth of simplicity.
I learned that you studied with Guillermo Guerrero in Mexico. Do you have any stories about that time in your life?
Diego: Guillermo would take us out plein air painting every day. I remember the circus was in town one day, so he took us out to paint the animals from life. This presented a unique challenge, since the animals were completely unaware that they were posing for a picture. It’s quite difficult to capture a model that moves every few seconds!
Best advice you ever received about painting?
Diego: Don’t be a slave to reference. Internalize reality and use it to serve your personal vision.
Piedras de Río, Oil on canvas, 8 x 11 in
What are some of your rituals that assist your artmaking?
Diego: One practice that benefits my artistic production is painting late into the night. The peace and quiet of the nocturnal environment allows me to get endlessly lost in the process. It is also of the utmost importance to have my cat Zorro alongside me in the studio.
What is your favorite piece of artwork?
Diego: My favorite painting I’ve created is my still life “The Sound of Water.” It is a fairly large still life depicting seashells and other tropical objects in a vertical format. This painting alludes to the beauty and uniqueness of each evolutionary path, including our own. It took me months to complete this piece and was a much bigger challenge than I was prepared for at the time, but it’s an accomplishment I’m proud of to this day.
Is art-making a spiritual act to you? Or is it a method of seeing and understanding the changing world?
Diego: Painting is definitely a spiritual act to me. Contrary to being bombarded with information and imagery on a daily basis, painting forces me to slow down and contemplate every aspect of a single subject or object. I strive to not only observe and capture the physical aspects of reality, but also the ethereal. It is a deeply meditative practice.
Shadow's Edge, Oil on Canvas, 60 x 72 x 3 in