Jesús Ruiz Diaz has his eyes on the street. He is one of those photographers who know how to prepare, wait and look for both: the right moment and the right person. He has an eye eager for shapes, colors and above all in the vigil of the meeting.
Beside Jesús, I quickly understood that he knew how to observe. That his gaze constantly looked for the absolute detail, the breaking point, the unexpected appearance, the line.
For him, the street is a world where his seeing rambles and he finds his models. Sometimes, they are those whose wear of the day makes disappear as in his Parisian series "Un Outre París". Here we find those "without fixed home" of the French capital. People from places like Porte de la Chapelle to the Stalingrad metro station roam the big city improvising and organizing their daily lives, surviving for better or for worse. Through his photographic work, Jesús offers them a moment of dignity. The frames are sharp, the light and the flashes controlled with precision, the colors subtle. Time seems fixed as in a master's painting.
In his series "Trabajo es Trabajo" or “Work is Work” presented at the Citibank Cultural Center in Asunción, the orientation is similar. The street creates the encounter and the encounter creates the image. Jesús Ruiz Díaz tells about those we do not see or see barely. He is part of the long tradition of photographers who knew how to immortalize workers and artisans. From the great work "People of the 20th Century" made by August Sander in the Germany of the 20s to the imposing "Workers" made by Sebastián Salgado at the end of the last century, Jesús is a young heir of this generous and humanistic tradition who knew how to highlight "the little hands" of the trades that make the world advance. With Paraguay in filigree and impregnated with this paternal sentence so often expressed "work is work", Jesus will continue for a long time photographing those forgotten men and women of the city. "Trabajo es Trabajo" had an important impact on the photographic practice of Jesús Ruiz Díaz, as he has say himself: "Today I realize that this photographic work is founder and that through all of its meetings… I just simply started knowing myself”.
Text by the editor and curator Emmanuelle Halkin for the exhibition of Ruiz Diaz´s ongoing project “Trabajo es Trabajo” in the Citibank Cultural Center of Asunción, Paraguay during February 2018.