“In Unconscious Commands and Judgements of our Century, a self-portrait project, I ‘perform’ different aspects of my personality in front of the camera with the intention of creating an inner dialogue of self-acceptance. The staged photographs where every single character plays a role in the conversation, are almost knee jerk reactions to notions I have always been conflicted by such as sexual expression, sexual orientation and gender identity. From image to image, characters talk to each other in a constant swing between freedom of expression and repression. Aspects of my personality that were once hidden away, are amplified and exaggerated in front of a surreal backdrop so their existence can no longer be ignored. The Fool – and many others – are dramatised and imagined just like children would when trying to explain what they don’t understand.”
Diogo was born in Lisbon, Portugal, and has been living and working in the UK since 2007.
Buses, train platforms and e-cigarette breaks tend to be his most comfortable place to create. It is usually in those places that he zones out and gives his mind freedom to express itself, though he has had some great ideas during boring conversations. Most of his ideas arise naturally in the form of intrusive images, which he then adds to or takes away from during the development stage.
Whilst working in mental health services, he has become fascinated with how non-acceptance of oneself and one’s surroundings causes so much unhappiness. He brings into my practice as an artist all the emotions, thoughts and stories they’d rather avoid and that, if acquainted with, can have a fascinating transformative effect.
He has a strong attraction to the hidden side of things – or ‘shadows’ – latent in every single thing that surrounds us and often spend most of his time investigating their origins and close relationship with Culture – trying to answer the child like question of why do ‘shadows’ exist. And more often than not, poking fun at it.
Zealous X 2016 Festival Rich Mix, Shoreditch, London / January 2016
Shake the Bottle: Contemporary Photography and Sexual Identity Herbert Read Gallery, University for the Creative Arts, Canterbury / September – October 2015
ARTPRIDE: BANKSIDE Bankside Space, Southwark, London / June 2015
Love & Death Walcot Chapel, Bath, City of Bath / May – June 2015
Y Not? Espacio Gallery, Shoreditch, London / March – April 2015
Seams Hoxton Arches, Shoreditch, London / September 2014
Vibe Affordable Art Fair Vibe Gallery, Bermondsey, London / January – February 2014
A Point of View Vibe Gallery, Bermondsey, London / July 2013
Black Dog Night: Back to Black Vibe Gallery, Bermondsey, London / August 2013
London School of Photography 2012 Exhibition Blackall Studios, Shoreditch, London / September 2012