Thanks Coop. We are in the process of updating and revamping the website. Glad to see so much interest.
This is a photo taken by Helga Voci of DIEGO at work in February 1963. The studio was in a room at the upscale Schlossgalerie in Zurich, Switzerland. See the ad in link #5 below. DIEGO signed his works A. Voci (no Diego signature, which began circa 1965 when he met art dealer Joy Gibson-Naffouf in Germany).
Great photo - I must have it for the website - which will be completely updated soon. Thanks for sharing.
These are the first two of 4 pages of the first published DIEGO article resulting from my 1974 short lived efforts to help DIEGO become better known.
The last two pages follow in the next post. The article was written by Victoria Williams. A photo of her interviewing DIEGO will follow.
Notice the pathos DIEGO captured in the clown. The original oil was stolen from the attic of the house we rented in Germany. We suspect it was taken by the landlord's son. There is a $30,000 reward for it's return.
These are the pages 3 and 4 of the AFN TV Guide article.
“The Fisherman’s Miraculous Catch” still remains in our personal DIEGO collection (130 x 90 cm). Oil on texture of a sand based canvas.
This is Victoria Williams in her December 1973 interview with DIEGO in his home in Schwetzingen Germany. Victoria was helping me complete and publish an intended deluxe coffee-table book to show photos, detailed history, and cameos of people’s experiences with DIEGO. The book never happened. Although charming, DIEGO was also known for a stubborn streak. As Victoria wrote, “DIEGO dominates the space around him.”
NOTE: Some passionate and motivated DIEGO aficionado should follow through on the book idea, while sources are still available to us all. A documentary, too. Chris and Helga Voci have much DIEGO memorabilia.
This is the cover of a competing TV Guide in Germany with a DIEGO artwork on the cover August 1974. Its an oil painting on a canvas textured with sand. An experiment DIEGO was using, as with “The Fisherman's Miraculous Catch,” included in the preceding AFN TV Guide post above.
Also about that time, DIEGO experimented with glass paint (of which we own five good examples).
All of these screen shots belong on the website - Thank you so much for sharing Coop.
NOTE: When posted here the print on the 1974 8-page DIEGO Catalog comes out as illegible tiny black dots once the 8 1/4 x 11 1/2 “ pages are reduced for this site. So we’ll transcribe text. (The TV guides above,this catalog,and various other TV appearance and printed publicity items resulted from my brief volunteer efforts.Helga Voci comments about it in her bio in post #30 below).
Here is the catalog cover with the famous DIEGO brush-painted signature. The DIEGO painting is “Les Odalisques” (110 x 150 cm).
The 2nd page of eight has this quote by DIEGO,
“A man does not find interest to be artist… it
You don’t ask yourself what day you have the idea…
it grows from yourself.”
And, this biographical sketch by Victoria Williams.
“Antonio DIEGO Voci was born August 10, 1920, in Gasparina, a little village in south Italy. Typical
of most parents, Guiseppe Antonio and Messina Angela encouraged their son to study for a traditional profession.
“The God of Art does not give bread, DIEGO”…
…but this was not important. The compulsion for art was too strong – the pleasure too rewarding. DIEGO was born to paint. DIEGO sold his first painting at 18. Since then art has been his profession, his life; his complete livelihood.
“I paint for pleasure… I like to work.”
At 19 DIEGO began his studies the ACADEMY SAN MARCO in Florence where he was tutored during a 3 year period in the arts of painting and sculpture.
DIEGO began traveling the world at 25, living the life of a true Bohemian artist, painting for his room and food. DIEGO continued studying, painting and meeting with other popular artists of the century.
“The real academy is the Café… where you meet so many artists.”
Although dates and facts mean little to DIEGO, a man who lives... (text continued on page three the next post).
This second page of eight also contained this photo of DIEGO painting “The Red Hand,”1974,(80 x 100 cm)
Again - Coop this is great stuff. I have a mock up the new website, should be up in a few weeks.
This is 3rd page of eight, Victoria Williams continued,
… for each day, the introduction in Paris in January 1960 to Helga Drössler was a significant turning point in DIEGO’s life.
“My life took on a new meaning. I became more .”
Helga is DIEGO's wife.
During DIEGO’s extensive travels he was always painting, always learning …
“to fill a need … to express.”
There was an EXHIBITION in CAPRI followed by a one-man show at the GALLERIA LA BUSSOLA in TORINO. DIEGO won 2nd prize in the VENICE EXPOSITION of 1951. He assisted the artist BROSSI in painting the FRESCO for a village church near ROME. DIEGO also studied at the ÉCOLE DES BEAUX ARTS in Paris.
Recent Highlights include:
1963-1965 SCHLOSS GALERIE, ZURICH, exhibited DIEGO’s work along with such masters as Renoir, Rembrandt, Monet,Remi,and others.
1965-1971 NAFFOUJ GALLERY in LANDSTUHL,Germany featured DIEGO. The largest group of DIEGOS remains in the private collection of NAFFOUJ. Not for sale.
1970- Present GLOBART (Art Gallery),MILANO, Italy.
October 1970 A one-man show at GALLERIA CAIROLI in RAVENNA, Italy.
1972- PresentGALERIE DAHMSin WIESBADEN,
“We cannot get enough DIEGOSfor our collectors. He is exactly the taste of the German people.”
1972- Present CHRISTINE KHAN’s ART STUDIOmanages DIEGO’s one-man exhibits to Americans in Germany.
October 1973 A one-man show at the BROADMORE HOTEL in COLORADO SPRINGS, US
Most recently,DIEGO has received an invitation to submit one of his paintings to the GALLERY OF CONTEMPORARY RELIGIOUS ART in the VATICAN.
“I am with DIEGO 14 years and I am still amazed by the way he draws.”
Helga Voci, 1974.”
This third page also included this fluid DIEGO illustration.
This 4th of the 8 page Catalog begins with this DIEGO Quote:
Have you done your best work yet?
When will you begin?
“As soon as possible.”
DIEGO INTERVIEW, DEC. 1973.
Notes by Coop Cooprider:
DIEGO is an artist. He looks like an artist.
For DIEGO there are no tomorrows, no yesterdays, only the moment. Now is important. Enjoy.
To limit DIEGO to a “single style” is to cage the Lion. He can paint anything and he often does, yet there remains a strong vein, a unity and consistency in his divergent moods. Pastel, oil, glass paint, surrealism to super-realism have all experienced the DIEGO technique – but mostly DIEGO is people!
DIEGO loves people. Truly loves. People are his life and his work. The people on his canvas feel. They have experienced. They have lived. They are people for which one feels compassion.
DIEGO needs canvas as well as people. He cannot live one without the other.
“I must to paint. To me is important the white canvas. On the canvas I can begin again. This is my life.”
There is a reluctance in DIEGO to pinpoint his early inspiration. But he has said,
“Michelangelo is the greatest There are so many. Leonardo da Vinci, Boticelli, Rembrandt, And Miro, Chagall, Picasso. So many.”
Where are the thousand words to describe a DIEGO picture? DIEGO says,
“The first idea ... the first few lines decide the whole work.”
DIEGO’s first few lines are magical. Composition comes easy. So easy. Watching DIEGO in concert with paint makes one think tying shoes would be more difficult. Such ease. Such depth. Such strength.
DIEGO possesses an unusual awareness, a wide and deep understanding of the world, and the ability to make it visible. A DIEGO demands your attention. You may not like it, but you will be forced to react. My advice: don’t deny yourself a DIEGO. He is not “just another painter,” he is a master in the making.
"The Fishermans Miraculous Catch", 1974, 35 1/2" x 51 #24943
On the 5th page, when you read the first DIEGO quote it relates to why this 8 page 1974 DIEGO Catalog had to fight for its life to get into print. Two times when I went to the printer to pick up the finished product, DIEGO had been there and slashed the proofs. The third time Helga overruled him. The text was as follows:
A witty, gracious, and confident man, DIEGO does not hunger for success. He tells who wish to exploit him,
“ You want to make me something in the sky with wings … go ahead.
You want to make me famous… go ahead. But this is not my life.”
He is content to just draw and paint and enjoy life, but the number of DIEGO admirers are now too many to turn back.
“A man look at woman… this is cerebral feeling. Venus is love god … who made her? In reality Venus never existed. I like for example fat woman … that’s the way I build Venus. Or I like the skinny woman … that’s the way I build Venus. If I am important enough, that’s enough to influence 90% of the world.” DIEGO 1974.
Our PAINTING OF THE WEEK is extracted from the catalog.
This exceptional cubist/surrealist style painting "Death In Battle" is referenced in the "DEATH by OIL and CANVAS" series. http://www.artifactcollectors.com/diego-voci-painting- of-the-week-5154118/Page2.html#52
It was painted by DIEGO for NAFFOUJ GALLERY, 1967, 35" x 47", oil on burlap for their personal collection.
"Death in Battle", 1967, 35" x 47", oil on burlap
The 6th page of this 8 page DIEGO 1974 Catalog are words from Herr Dahms ,the luxurious Galerie Dahms, Wiesbaden. Herr Dahms represented DIEGO. He wrote:
DIEGO VOCI creates works of art which are full of expression and timeless beauty; which deeply impress and fascinate people with its exceptional appeal, and instill the desire to possess.
DIEGO is one of the few artistic personalities whose paintings really appeal to people. They understand, they get excited about, and they really enjoy living with DIEGO's art. The beauty of hs paintings and the desire of possession are often so immense that people gradually acquire more and more of his work. DIEGO buyers soon become DIEGO collectors.
This stolen painting,"The Clown" by DIEGO exudes deep pathos of a man who has experienced a full life. There is a $30,000 reward for it's return. DON ABELL,was photographer of this image.
The 7th page of the DIEGO Catalog is a transcribed Commentary by John Krueger, Writer for Stars and Stripes newspaper which was followed by the image of “Friends,” the DIEGO painting that was used for the 1/2 page ads I placed for DIEGO in ARTNEWS in 1974.
Antonio DIEGO Voci considers the human face to be the most direct and effective way to illustrate and to express his intimate poetical world. DIEGO’s deep concern for people reveals the painter’s humanism, his equilibrium and serenity of vision which are very characteristic of the Italian temperament.
DIEGO’s oil portraits of young women – with melancholy eyes, sensuous lips without a smile – convey a message of noble beauty and transcends the physical portrait and becomes the revelation of a soul, bringing to mind the sorrowful mysticism of the Italian painters of the XVth Century.
Another character that often reoccurs in DIEGO’s portraits is the clown – earnest, ruddy peasant faces under the white make-up and the red nose, true children of “LA COMMEDIA DELL‘ARTE.” The memory of the classic form always present in the subconscious of the truly modern artist, gives a higher meaning and a more complex form to the work of DIEGO. His groups of figures – here again he favors young voluptuous women – produce an almost three dimensional effect, which is achieved by a component use of the laws of perspective rather than by optical tricks, as in the case of cubist paintings.
DIEGO’s great reverence and admiration for Italian painters of the XVth and XVIth centuries, above all Michelangelo and Boticelli, can be sensed in his works, which are far from being a mere imitation of the classics and could be better described as a modern interpretation of the immortal ideas which have, through the centuries, uplifted the spirit of humanity through beauty artistically expressed.
Beside oils, DIEGO works in charcoal, water colors, ink, tempera and pastels. Sometimes he combines ink and water color in a way reminiscent of Japanese art. The dark outlines enhanced by splashes of flowing color give an impression of form in movement.
Episodes and intellectual adventures, which may at times attract great curiosity and interest among public and critics bear very little resemblance to the fundamental values of art. Too many collective and individual phenomena dismay and disappoint art lovers looking at modern art today. Still, there are some artists who, unaffected by trends and passing fashions, dedicate themselves to the search for truth and beauty. DIEGO is such a man.
DIEGO is a painter of uncommon versatility and prolificacy, an intellectual devoid of all intellectualism, an intelligent interpreter of modern art movements who possesses the moral courage to remain faithful to his own personal dreams, inflexibly rejecting all influences alien to a nature nurtured under the glorious Italian skies, by the examples of the greatest artists of all times.
"Friends", 1966, 23 2/3" x 47 1/4", oil on rough canvas, Private Collection Cooprider
At the bottom of the back cover, page 8, of the 1974 DIEGO Catalog is a small print explanation,
“DIEGO speaks 6 languages. However English is not his most fluent. Italicized quotes are phrased as spoken.”
The eighth and last page begins with a DIEGO quote.
“When is finished the art piece? Never. Any painting I can add more. When I put my signature, for me is finished. I don’t say I’m satisfied. I’m never satisfied.” -DIEGO
The quote by DIEGO accompanies a photo at the end of a day’s work, where somehow he looks very satisfied.
Would like some digitial images of your Diego art Coop, to add to the new website.
Sunday. May 9, 2010 the widow of DIEGO Helga Voci wrote
I just wanted to say that I am working on the biography, it takes a little while because I have to make researches in my memory, there are 50 years to look back, I will work each day whenever I have some time, but please be patient. By the way, thank you for the phonecall, the black dog was a boxer, we had 5 of them, but the first one was Diego`s big love and her name was -Lady-, she was killed in a car accident in a little village in Bavaria and we both were crying like mad.
I will contact you soon. Helga"
Here is a very happy DIEGO with his love,"Lady," (1973)
DIEGO Voci at work in his home studio. Help: Can anyone identify the whereabouts of this DIEGO work in progress? <phone> . Helga Voci says DIEGO would hum the theme from "Love Story" as he painted.
A quite moment of DIEGO with his wife Helga in Heidelberg.
In their 25 years of marriage DIEGO did several paintings and drawings of his wife Helga.
This imperfect image is of a portrait of Helga from the personal collection of Jawdat Naffouj, oil on heavy canvas, now framed under glass, done in early to mid 60’s, 24" ½ x 31" inches.
Helga Voci's personal memories follow below.