Archive for Miami

Steak and Eggs

Posted in Life with tags , , , , , , on November 24, 2014 by lisadiakova

The Steak and Eggs I’m having for brunch are so good I almost want to take a picture. I want to idolize this meal and put it on display to convey the experience. But nothing I can say or show you will make you understand the significance of this particular thing within the context of my reality today. I can help you imagine the breezes swaying in from the ocean a block away. I can describe the tourists in their airy clothing, with their huge beach bags, and adorable children. I can tell you about the bodies… all these beautiful nearly naked bodies glistening in the warm Miami sun. I want you to be here. To taste this. But you are not, and therefore the experience is my own. You can’t have it.

Lately, I’ve been disturbed by how many people I’ve encountered who are unhappy with their lives. Judging from the outside it seems like such an easy fix – to change, to make decisions that lead to new experiences. But when you’re in it, living it, the fear, if left untended, can consume every part of you, until you become something unrecognizable – a soft-spirited pile of mush that melts when put under pressure. It takes courage to be your truest self. It takes sacrifice, sometimes the kind of sacrifice that makes you want to scratch your eyes out. You can’t please everyone you encounter on your way, especially the nice ones, the ones who love you. It takes honesty. A person must face the animal inside if that creature is to evolve, to create, to succeed.

Honesty is such a difficult thing. People hold on to these ideas of themselves. They take pictures to portray the life they choose to share. No one sees the mold growing in the gaps, the crying babies, the dishes in the sink, the headaches, the talks of money… the bottom of the well. Most people don’t really want to see themselves. They don’t look inward long enough to realize the ugliness of it all, the beauty, the despair, the overwhelming love, the emptiness, the blessings… the juxtaposition of all the light and every bit of dark.

It frightens me that we seem to get further from enlightenment. We sacrifice our experiences to market an idea of ourselves. This is not to say that there is anything wrong with sharing the best image of yourself. The danger is in how much time we dedicate to this act of selling. If we lose ownership of our own experiences, we surrender our understanding of them, our perception of the world.

All this preamble, to accurately express what a wonderful weekend I’ve had on the beach, alone with my thoughts… how grateful I am for the life that I have, but above all, just how intensely I’ve enjoyed this meal. A picture just wouldn’t do it justice.

Lisa Diakova_Nascondino_Thirst Close-Up

Nascondino, Opening Nov. 15th

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on November 6, 2014 by lisadiakova

Hello Everybody,

I’m excited to share Nascondino, my new collection of artwork.  The opening reception will take place on November 15th at Gallery 212 Miami in the Wynwood Arts District. The address is 2407 NW 2nd Ave. Miami, FL 33127. Come by between 7-9 pm so I can meet you!

Nascondino Flyer Gallery Solo Show Lisa Diakova

The Company of Books

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on November 23, 2013 by lisadiakova
Keith Haring

Keith Haring (Photo credit: Simonetta Di Zanutto)

I’ve just come up for air after completing a few major projects over the previous weeks. Yesterday was an especially difficult day, and now I sit here resurrected turning to the words in Keith Haring’s journals for new breath.

I am comforted by written words. The very nature of their existence is sweet to me: that they are there… In order. In print. For me to see, for you to see. Plain evidence of thought.

I’ve felt a little isolated the past few days. The wave hit me strong, possibly because I am not completely accustomed to the culture that surrounds me. Or perhaps it is the culture that is just not accustomed to me. I guess that’s normal. I’ve never really been accustomed anywhere, but I feel a little homesick, even though I am supposedly “home.” It’s something I struggle with–the concept of home. Fiona Apple’s words come to mind: “Home is where my habits have a habitat.” I think that home is somewhere inside of me. People peek through the windows when the curtains are drawn. Few have their own key.

Miami is a very emotional city and sometimes it seems I can’t do a darn thing without upsetting the natural order of someone’s life. It’s too much responsibility and at the same time, utter nonsense. It puzzles me, but it happens often, so I’ve stopped caring. I combat this frustration by seeking the company of books. It’s the only thing that makes sense today. A few hours ago I felt like a freak, and now I find comfort in a passage written 35 years ago.

Haring writes:
I am me. I may look like you, but if you take a closer look you will realize that I am nothing like you at all. I am very different. I see things through a completely different perspective because in my life I had experiences that you didn’t have, and I’ve lived places and seen places and experienced life from a completely different point of view than you have. I may be wearing the same shoes and the same haircut, but that gives you no right to have any preconceived notions about what I am or who I am.

You don’t even know me.
You never will.

Welcomed to Miami

Posted in Life with tags , , on November 4, 2013 by lisadiakova

For months, there’s been this croaky hobgoblin voice in the pit of my head, saying, “Go write.” So here I am, sitting at my laptop, looking over my previous posts, realizing ten lifetimes have passed since then. I am not sure where to pick up again. It’s been rather busy around here, and the thought of sitting here attempting to flesh out these experiences into words, makes me shrivel like a dead lily.

I moved back to Miami, a little over a year ago. After a long absence, I’ve had such a great time rediscovering this city.  I can’t say I don’t miss New York . I miss it like hell, but still, I like it here. There’s a part of me that definitely feels more at peace. Days feel longer. I love the expansive skies. The sunsets. The long drives to The Keys. I feel closer to that evanescent H word that rhymes with sappy.

So much has changed, and there’s been a lot to take in, but this calm is breeding new work at its own steady pace. Miami has a kind of rhythm for me that is unlike all the glorified versions of this city. While I won’t deny the sultriness of this mojito capital, my version of Miami is grundgier, calmer. It holds a kind of illusory truth about me… This city knows where I went to school, the places I lived, my brother’s pet birds, my sister’s car accident. It knows about that time I told that cop my name was Jennifer Lopez to avoid getting in trouble for skipping school. It’s where I met my husband. I wasn’t able to appreciate this degree of intimacy before. Growing up here, I always felt a bit like an outsider, but now that I’ve returned, this familiarity has really caught me by surprise. In some disconcerting way, it almost feels like love.  

I am coming out of my hole today to thank you for your continued support and good energy. The last year of my life has been an incredible journey. Often maddening, but definitely not boring. Reclusion is part of the process for me, so I won’t apologize. But I will say, that I’ve missed you. The interactions, the notes under the table, your extraordinary faces. All of it. You are the reason I exhibit. You are what takes the experience of being an artist from introspection to connection. Thank you.

Now that Basel is around the corner, I’m excited to come out of the shadows, into the glorious Miami sunshine. I hope you’ll join me.

Palm Tree Wonderland

Posted in Life with tags , , , , on November 29, 2011 by lisadiakova
Breaking Bad Screening Lab in Hollywood - Saul...

I’ve imagined people watching me as I sleep. Last night, I half-awoke three times to find two Mexican cowboy farmers standing over me, then some guy in a baseball cap, and a shadow figure in the closet. These disturbances may have something to do with the fact that I’ve been falling asleep to episodes of Breaking Bad—pleeease don’t say anything, I haven’t caught up yet—but, I’m guessing there’s more to it.

I’m pretty sure the house where I’m staying is not haunted, though my room is especially dark and quiet. This is what happens when you take a chick from Brooklyn and put her smack in the tranquil fairytale of Pinecrest.

So much has happened in the past weeks. I closed The Precious Rejects Show in New York, moved out of my studio, flew to Miami for a long vacation, turned 30, celebrated Thanksgiving with friends and family, went on a camping trip to The Keys, and as is common with my damaged little brain, I’ve questioned every decision I’ve ever made, and of course my reason for LIVING.

Miami is lovely. Too lovely. There are no 3 am garbage-truck-alarms roaring on the streets. No uncomfortable drafts creeping through my room. No icy raindrops tapping on the sill. I can’t suppress the fantasy of moving into a spacious house in my ol’ hometown with a pool that sparkles like a Swiss Blue Topaz.

Don’t get me wrong, New York, I love you, but you can be a real dick. As much as I enjoy running back into your arms, your beatings are getting rougher and more frequent. You are sexy, interesting, and you keep me on my toes, but the grass is literally greener on this side.

What’s a girl to do?

Away From My Desk

Posted in Art, Life with tags , , on November 16, 2011 by lisadiakova

Hello everybody, I’m in Miami on vacation. I know I’ve disappeared the past few days, but I’ve been tending to very important matters such as playing pool, laying out in the sun, eating Hispanic food… and these vodka sours aren’t going to drink themselves.

Big hugs, New York, for the fabulous response to The Precious Rejects Show!! Many of you thanked me for bringing my work to the NY scene. I truly appreciate the love and look forward to sharing the many projects that are brewing in my mind.

For those of you who missed the show, I will upload pictures of the work soon.

Thanks for all your letters and sweet messages. I love reading them!! So keep ‘em coming.


Posted in Life with tags , , , , , on August 29, 2011 by lisadiakova

I was telling a friend the other day that I loved hurricanes as a child. Fifteen minutes later, as the breeze made the trees dance feverishly, I realized with all my heart that I still do.

It’s been two days now since Irene came whirling through New York. I woke up this morning to a soft gust blowing through my bedroom curtains. The world feels new again. People are outside doing simple tasks like sweeping the sidewalk. Others have headed off to work, but there is a definite change of pace. The streets are quieter. Life feels slower. More deliberate. The wind is gentle, fresh, and romantic in its own way.

I grew up in South Florida where hurricanes were a real danger. People packed stores and took everything off the shelves–condiments, old jars of pickled stuff. Gas station lines wrapped around the block. Everyone had something to talk about, someone to care for. A bit of healthy hysteria combined with the actual threat that nature could very well kill us was this little girl’s wet dream. Hurricanes were god-like. They appeared from nothing like some otherworldly entity coming to get us. Ask a Miami kid what the sky looked like the night before a big storm. It was ominously beautiful. Violet reds mixed with orange, pink, subtle blues… Nature in all its glory and magnificent power. On the one hand, it was sickeningly gorgeous, on the other, brutal chaos.

On this note, I welcome you to my world. Dualities reign freely here. The ruined and the beautiful are closely linked. Life is at its best when the threat of death is near. I’ve spent so much time seeking some semblance of perfection only to realize it is the damages that draw my eye.

Please make yourself at home. Be kind to the furniture.