About the Artist
DIÓGENES BALLESTER, MFA is a visual artist, educator, and writer. Mr. Ballester works in different artistic media including painting, printmaking, drawing, new media, and installation art and is recognized as a master of encaustic painting and printmaking. He has received numerous honors for his artistic work and has exhibited widely in the United States, Europe, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean.
Diogenes' Studio was founded in1987 in El Barrio (Spanish Harlem) of New York City and has been in continuous operation for 24 years. Mr. Ballester produces/creates paintings, prints, drawings, new media and installation art. He is especially known for his mastery in encaustic paintings, an ancient painting technique that produces rich colors and thick impasto. He has produced artworks in New York City since 1981 and is a well-recognized Puerto Rican artist in Puerto Rico, the Caribbean, and the Puerto Rican community of New York.
For Diógenes Ballester, one function of the artist, like that of the arteologist, is to discover, investigate, extrapolate meaning, and offer a reconfigured perspective on what has been left behind as artifacts. He has been blessed as a Puerto Rican with a rich religious, cultural, political, and familial heritage, which coupled with personal experiences, invites curiosity and investigation. These are the factors that interest him and through which he express his creativity. These are the memories embedded in his installations. This is the life energy manifested in the archeological artifacts, historical documents, and found objects. Taken together these apprehended, reconfigured, and re-contextualized components become altar like pieces that depict layers of history and culture. In these installations, he explore oral history, memory, mythology, ritual, and cultural identity along a transnational spectrum. I have appropriated cultural objects and historical artifacts together with painting, drawing, prints and new media as a way of accessing the past and re-interpreting the present in a trans-Caribbean dialogue.