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  • R.A. Ruiz Acosta

Latinx AF Feature:Diego Moreno & his Gory Depictions of Fear, Sin, Mercy, & Malignas Influencias

Diego Moreno is a Chiapas, Mexico based mixed media artist and photographer who's art at first sight leans heavily into the macabre and gruesome, but under the blurred demonic visage and exaggerated monstrosity of his subjects lies the "coexisting cultures and beliefs in contemporary Mexico," an understanding of sin and the human condition, and an attempt to reflect "the misunderstood beings, creatures, and marginal things."

Diego's work is undeniably Mexican- from the domestic settings and familial pictures he intervenes in that might look eerily familiar to all of us of Mexican and Latinx heritage, to the “Los Panzudos Mercedarios” tradition in the La Merced neighborhood of San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas inspiring his En mi mente nunca hay silencio series. This ceremony of sins and Virginal Mercy merges Pre-Hispanic traditions with Catholicism as is so often seen in our culture. His art represents Mexican horror at it's finest- and yet the depictions of "Black Philip," snarling demonic and vampiric faces, blood splatters and drips, and shadow figures are universally unnerving.

When reflecting today on Halloween, and across the year on what draws us to fictional horror and gore- is it perhaps that our own attraction to the worst of us, to the idea that these sins might simply be misunderstood- or maybe that like the participants of Los Panzudos- that maybe Our Lady of La Merced has mercy in store for our wickedness too.

Malignas // Malignant influences

It is a visual exercise of graphic intervention on a photographic archive that has been detonated in the enclosure of the pandemic. Through the manual and digital use of colored pencils, graphite, chinese ink, markers or materials such as chlorine or vinegar, I intervene in the family archive; as a way to create new realities invented from my obsession and fascination with the anomalous, the monsters and the terror.

Project that allows me to cope with the confinement and reflect on the individual and collective unconscious from my link with the visual arts.


Black Phillip visto en la parroquia La Sagrada Familia.

De la serie: Malignas influencias. 2020

Intervención gráfica sobre papel de algodón.

Dionila vista en el ejido La Paz.

De la serie: Malignas influencias. 2020

Intervención gráfica sobre papel de algodón.

Black Phillip visto en el ejido Santa María.

De la serie: Malignas influencias. 2020

Intervención gráfica sobre papel de algodón

Chupacabras visto en la finca nuevo amanecer.

De la serie: Malignas influencias. 2020

Intervención gráfica sobre papel de algodón.

Diablo mayor visto en el ejido San Fernando.

De la serie: Malignas influencias. 2020

Intervención gráfica sobre papel de algodón.


En mi mente nunca hay silencio //

In My Mind There Is Never Silence

"This series originated with “Los Panzudos Mercedarios”, the guardians of the neighborhood of La Merced in San Cristóbal de las Casas in Chiapas, México.

The Panzudos represent the sins: the more sins a person has to expiate, the bigger and uglier his attire will be, the better to cure his sins. These figures herald the feast day of Our Lady of La Merced and accompany her, purifying themselves in the process.

The announcement is made as the figure of the Virgin Mary passes by, carried on the shoulders of her bearers, with a retinue of Aztecs, Catholics, and Moors mounted on horseback, dressed as Arabs and with their faces painted, representing the Muslims who invaded and occupied Spain between 702 and 1492.

Integrated this ancestral imaginary with the exploration of familiar universe. I try to investigate the links, the monstrosity, disease and death. I explore the tunnels of representation of domestic space fusing it with pre-Hispanic traditions and the apocalyptic visions of the Catholic religión.

This work gives new meaning to the intrincate tangle of the concealed and the visible, the individual and the collective subconscious, on the highly complex map of coexisting cultures and beliefs in contemporary Mexico."

"This photograph is inspired by the fears that we live as children and keep secret. Childhood is a disturbing stage that marks us for life. My work is inspired by the individual and collective unconscious, and by the importance of darkness to know our deepest fears."- Moreno to Vice
"For me, Los Panzudos Mercedarios have come to represent the inhabitants of my own unconscious and a passage to another realm. They are not real people, I know, but somehow, they provide a framework for understanding the human condition. Perhaps, I can reveal secret truths that are not visible in everyday life. Reflect upon all misunderstood beings, creatures, and marginal things." - Moreno to Buzzfeed

You can support Diego by purchasing his photobooks of his website, and following him on Instagram.


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