Pretentious OKY is a project that was born at the beginning of 2020. Since I started it, I have taken it as a form of escape from the reality with which we coexist.
I find everyday scenes that I want to appropriate, and my way of doing it is through the lens. I then transform these scenes, these moments, using strong tones and textures in order to convey to whoever is looking at them a highlighted version of what can be seen with the naked eye.
As a musician, I look at photography as being on a path where it meets music, and that is where, as PretentiousOKY, I want to find myself, using these artistic elements, in order to validate and contribute to what I consider is the idea of art—to awaken, to stimulate the sensations and emotions of my audience.
I took this photo in the center of Medellín, Colombia. This moment caught my attention because in the middle of the Covid era I saw a long line of people waiting to enter a building where there is a telephone company. The faces of these people give a glimpse of that state in which you are doing something that does not give you any pleasure. Daily scenes like this are seen in the center of Medellín; the crowds there do not stop, not even with Covid present among us.
I captured this scene in a neighborhood of Medellín called “Estadio.” It bears this name because in that sector is the “Atanasio Girardot,” which is Medellín’s stadium. It is a crowded, central sector. Look at this man, look at his clothes, his objects—maybe he is going to his workplace? The background of the image allows us to perceive a certain industrial air. What seems to be a warehouse reflects the work environment, which has not ceased even in the midst of this pandemic.
This woman was walking in a hurry through Bolivar Park, where the Metropolitan Cathedral of Medellín is located. It is surrounded by all kinds of bars, where many men go to ask for the services provided by countless prostitutes and transvestites who prowl the streets around the cathedral. It is a dangerous sector, where you can be robbed if you are not careful. Perhaps that is why the woman was in such a hurry.
This image shows a building under construction. The work of these men does not stop. Look at the masks they wear on their faces while they work—the way they adapt to the new reality is incredible. The mask has become an element of safety and hygiene at work.
Copyright © 2021 Oscar Díaz Mateus
My name is Oscar Díaz Mateus, but you can also call me “Oky,” (my nickname and also my stage name). I was born in Medellín, Colombia. Professionally I’m a lawyer. But I’ve also studied music and have performed as a musician and actor in various productions. In December 2020, I independently released my first single, titled “SALIVA.” (Listen on SoundCloud.)
Photography has been a hobby that I have been practicing for years, in a rather empirical way. With photography, I find that particular means of expression, that conjunction between an idea or feeling that you want to convey, and the portrait of a specific event, to be fascinating. I have an affinity with experimental, abstract, minimalist art, even Costumbrismo. I experience these concepts in the scene that I capture, which is real, adding a colorful touch of unreality and fantasy.