Freedom with Rich Diltz
Internationally recognized body painter and airbrush artist, Rich Diltz, captivates his audiences with his detailed transformations of the human body. Fascinated by the interactions between art and humanity, Diltz’s favorite pieces are the ones that are more than just beautiful. They must tell a story and make the viewers feel genuine emotions. In this work, called Chipping Away, a woman chisels away at the gray stone that covers her in the hopes of freeing herself from what she has become.
Flecks of sparkling monochrome colors decorate the matte gray covering the woman’s body; she has been made into a beautiful statue. Perhaps her artificial exterior was a consequence of her own desires. It is possible that she was forced to transform into a statue by societal standards that prompted her to become domesticated and demure. Regardless, being a statue made her as strong as the stone covering her body. She could perfectly assimilate with the world around her without any vulnerability, but this stone fortress is cold and emotionless. There is no freedom to love or to be happy. By becoming someone she is not, she loses herself and her humanity.
Meticulously, the woman works to free herself from what she has become. To rush her metamorphosis into the truest version of herself could mean driving the chisel into her flesh, and could mean death. She is susceptible to devastating failure because she has the freedom to take chances and make her own decisions. Diltz wants us to understand that without vulnerability and freedom we are without our humanity. In spite of the ease that comes with conforming to society or living complacently, we must be willing to attempt to be true to ourselves in order to experience our humanity at the fullest.
What do you think about this piece?