OMAHA, NEBRASKA.- The Joslyn Art Museum presents The Many Faces of David Diaz, on view through February 22, 2009. Caldecott Award-winning illustrator David Diaz notes, "Just as monks labored over pages of scripture bringing them to life, I strive to shine light, to make clear to the reader in a visual form the content, feeling, and meaning of the text. The role of the illustrator is to illuminate." To that end, Diaz employs myriad materials and dynamic styles to create strikingly rich illustration for expressive children's books.
In Smoky Night, a picture book based on Los Angeles street riots, Diaz utilized gouache paintings framed by bold borders with intricate photographic collages as backgrounds. For The Little Scarecrow Boy, he mastered a lighter, less complicated style to reflect a gentle story. Silhouette forms dominated Be Not Far From Me, giving a new look to Diaz's illustration. He modified his technique again in Shadow Story and combined renderings in vegetable dyes, gouache, and pencil. Angel Face extended the artist's horizons to include soft pastel images, and The Pot That Juan Built relied on vibrant computer art.
Some stories illustrated by Diaz deal with social issues fraught with controversy. Still, the artist seeks to illustrate books that offer hope and for which he is free to develop his own way of telling the story visually.
The Many Faces of David Diaz includes 47 original artworks from 14 children's and young adult books. The exhibition was organized by The National Center for Children's Illustrated Literature, Abilene, Texas.