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To execute these works, De Diego developed a technique of using tempera underpainting before applying layer upon layer of pigmented oil glazes. The result is paintings with surfaces which were described as “bonelike” in quality. The forms seem to float freely, creating a three-dimensional visual effect.
In the 1954 book The Modern Renaissance in American Art, author Ralph Pearson summarizes the series as “a fantastic interpretation of a weighty theme. Perhaps it is well to let fantasy and irony appear to lighten the devastating impact. By inverse action, they may in fact increase its weight.”
“Scientists were working secretly to develop formidable powers taken from the mysterious depths of the earth - with the power to make the earth useless! Then, the EXPLOSION! . . . we entered the Atomic Age, and from there the neo-Atomic war begins. Explosions fell everywhere and man kept on fighting, discovering he could fight without flesh.”
–Julio de Diego
Lester Burbank Bridaham looks at twenty years of Julio De Diego's artwork. Whatever the subject, De Diego creates his own worlds on a canvas.