Forty Five meaningful Minutes

What can happen to someone in forty five minutes? You can have lunch, watch some television or take a walk. For young artist Darian Mederos forty-five minutes catapulted him fifty years into the future. This Austin powers experience was like being on another planet. Darian explains to Portraymag his experience of rapidly having to adjust. When asked about how that transition was for him (keeping in mind it was four years ago) he explained how he didn’t have a computer, internet or even a smartphone. He smiles and excitingly says, “Amazing, it’s like moving in time. Its only forty-five minutes on a plane to the US. I was living on top of the trees and in forty-five minutes, I’m on top of a building. That was a shock.”

How his art journey began

Reflecting on where you are and how you were takes some consideration and when asked about the journey, he recalls his mother saying he was different than other kids in his neighborhood. While they were out playing ball and doing things kids do, he was painting. He had a desire to go to art school and told his mother his intentions. She supported him and hired an art teacher to help him prepare. With only two weeks of formal instruction, he was accepted in 2008.

Darian Mederos hyper realism painting.
Hyper realism portrait

Making it work and making the work

Darian took odd jobs just to get by, upon arriving to the States and was itching to paint again. Prophetically, he utilized the magic of modern technology and Googled ” Art schools in Miami.” He barely spoke English. He called and talked to a woman and asked her if she spoke Spanish first, to his relief. He brought his paintings to her for a look. She liked them. So much so, she began calling people on the spot, asking them to come and see his work right then and there. Then, she told him art school would cost roughly $88,000 per year, which was apparently a hurdle. Knowing that was a lot of money for him at the moment she told him she may know someone that could help. That’s when he was introduced to Stacy Conde, from Conde Contemporary in Coral Gables, Florida. Quick on the uptake, she gave him the tools he needed to start panting again and really helped him. Darian believes if you can make it as an artist in the USA, you can make it anywhere and he is grateful for Stacy’s help.

What makes Darian Mederos’ art so captivating?

They say you know what you are doing if you can create or learn something and then deconstruct it. Some of Darian’s work does precisely that. The closer you get, the clarity of a portrait becomes the antithesis of initial intent. So, you are getting both the experience of abstract and excellent hyper-realism. “What I’m trying to do is to preserve the image, but I have a technique that uses a series of layers to change the process. When you get closer, it turns into abstraction. It is a lot of fun to take a few steps forward and a few steps back. You could start a bunny hop line with it in the gallery or wherever you view it, moving in and then moving out, or you can play it cool and zoom in and out with your camera (half as fun). Whatever mood you are in you will enjoy it.

Darian Mederos self portrait on pennies
Self Portrait on Pennies

Priceless with Pennies

Mederos also works with an array of mediums. He’s created works out of pennies and coins. The result is this burnished image staring back at you. watch below, and his creativity, well rounded (pun intended).

Video by COCO via You Tube showing Darian’s torch technique on pennies
Portrait by Darian Mederos

Darian has all the problems every artist dreams of having. He sells his work as soon as he puts the varnish on it. His work collects no dust on a wall at the gallery. He brings it to the gallery, and it is usually placed in its new home right away. He finds himself a bit melencholy when he delivers the works. I believe it is because he lacks time to enjoy it himself. After working on something for months, the goodbye is abrupt.

He is young, he is a progressive talent living a free-spirited life. Not everyone is afforded this, and Darian is well aware. He usually doesn’t have the experience to see people’s reactions to his work, as he has not had a solo show himself, which is something he would like in the future. What he did see once, (through a video) was Chuck close getting a close up of his work at an art fair in Miami and then coming back and looking again.

I believe that Darien is inspirational. His story proves that moving fast is not the same as going somewhere. Some people have lived in the States for years with all the tools to make things happen quickly, and their careers stay stagnant. This was not the case for him. He wasn’t swayed by the people that told him he wouldn’t be able to be an artist and make a living in the US.. He has created his own experiences. It’s a blessing in itself to listen to your inner voice and take action. Being only twenty-six years old, his brave actions, talent and ability to look outside the box are certainly getting him attention for his work. We are expecting to see some incredible things from him going forward.

Donnalynn Patakos and Darien Mederos at his latest work.
Darian Mederos with Portraymag Editor in Chief Donnalynn Patakos
Photograph by Ilene Pacun

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